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"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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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

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.


Academic Paper


Title: Lexical Complexity: Theoretical assessment and translational perspectives
Author: Marcella Bertuccelli Papi
Institution: Università di Pisa
Author: Gloria Cappelli
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.gloriacappelli.it/
Institution: Università di Pisa
Author: Silvia Masi
Institution: Università di Pisa
Linguistic Field: Semantics; Translation
Abstract: The papers collected in this volume focus on complexity as a central feature in the study of lexical meaning. The issue is addressed both theoretically and empirically. The theoretically oriented contributions share the assumption that languages are complex dynamic systems within which different types of structures act as organizers in order to make it possible for cognition to handle the immense amount of information involved in the communicative process. Within this view, in which words act at the same time as cues of mental representations, triggers of ad hoc conceptual constructions, and anchors which hinder meanings from verging on the border of chaos, it is claimed that lexical complexity is a function of the parameters which differently organize the conceptual material in the task at stake. Translation has been selected as a privileged vantage point for empirical observation of the dynamics of meaning construal. Indeed, translation is a powerful heuristic tool in the investigation of lexical complexity, since it brings to the fore not only the non-linear mapping between words and concepts in different text types, and the complex mapping between words belonging to different lexical systems, but also and above all the complex interplay between functions and meanings under the constraints imposed by culture-specificity to text-recontextualization. In this respect, literary translation is especially suggestive of the power of words to dynamically recreate meanings and, at the same time, of the limits imposed by text-internal and external conventions. Papers in this section highlight the intersemiotic complexities raised by the translation of dramatic as well as narrative texts.

Contributors: Juliane House, Christiane Nord, Lavinia Merlini, Marcella Bertuccelli Papi, Carla Dente, Mario Curreli, Alessandro Lenci, Gloria Cappelli, Silvia Bruti, Annalisa Baicchi, Maria Ivana Lorenzetti, Silvia Masi, Elisa Mattiello, Sara Conti, Veronica Bonsignori, Sara Soncini, Ilide Carmignani, Daniele Franceschi, Roberto Di Scala.
Type: Collection
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: Pisa: Plus Pisa University Press


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