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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information


Title: Person, Klasse, Kongruenz
Written By: Wolfgang Schulze

The series "Person, Klasse, Kongruenz - Fragmente einer
Kategorialtypologie des einfachen Satzes in den ostkaukasischen
Sprachen" will be published in seven volumes. The series is devoted to the morphosyntax, morphosemantics, and pragmatics of the 'simple sentence' in the about 30 autochthonous East Caucasian languages. Based on a comprehensive description of the relevant paradigmatic architectures (characterized in technical terms by modest to strong, mainly suffixing agglutination with tendencies towards fusional and polysynthetic procedures) the explanation of these architectures together with their co-paradigmatization will be approached with the help of a language and grammar theoretical frame work that is labeled "Grammar of Scenes and Scenarios" (GSS).

GSS hypothesizes that 'simple sentence' structures - themselves the most basic type of linguistic-communicatively oriented processing of event images - represent the kernel of prototypically organized language systems. Because of this hypothesis the description and explanation of those structures gain specific importance.
GSS tries to explain the grammar of a language on the basis of the cognitive and (cognition based) communicative behavior of an individual integrated in a collective. This behavior is dominated by massive hypotheses about the self-attachment to a collective; it represents a strongly ritualized but construing interaction of the individual and environmental stimuli which corresponds to the habitus of a collective and which takes place in form of the tacit (poiematic) and/or articulate (pragmatic) activation of an acquired (and traditional) knowledge system as an communicative reaction on event images.

Linguistic behavior represents the individual reaction to a collective communicative and cognitive standard which itself is predominantly historical in nature. Hence GSS argues that language as a 'metaphysical' phenomenon owns strong anachronistic features; it follows that functional and semantic aspects of language architecture are mainly to be explained with the help of a diachronic perspective (though the potential to adopt newly established communicative and cognitive routines plays an important role in this respect, too).
The theoretical frame work underlying GSS can be described as a strong diachronic model that owes much to holistic cognitivism, constructivism, and pragmatism. Modularity is only accepted as a secondary 'construction' of users about their language. Rather it is the structural coupling of adequate network components that has to be described as primary: This coupling results in language as a complex 'cognitive event' - as an emergent activity of this polycentric complex.

The series "Person, Klasse, Kongruenz" (PKK) aims at the explanation of
East Caucasian techniques to grammaticalize scenes and scenarios with the help of a 'Categorial Typology'. One objective is to establish a typological oriented description of the underlying, prototypically organized operating systems. In addition to the description of the synchronic architectures in a formal and functional perspective the diachronic aspect plays a major role that serves as a basis for the explanation of the system internal dynamics. In this respect, the series
PKK can also be regarded as a try to reconstruct the operating system of both Proto-East Caucasian and the intermediate proto-languages.
The second major objective is to depict the system transcendent conditions of East Caucasian operating systems both synchronically and diachronically with respect to the general assumptions of GSS. The results also serve to evaluate the deductive claims of the language and grammar theory that underlies GSS. (written in German]

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Subject Language(s): German
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3895861847
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 360pp
Prices: USD 96.25 / DM 128 / # 58.20

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3895865524
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 360pp
Prices: USD 60 / DM 88 / # 32