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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?

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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.


Academic Paper


Title: Discourse Analysis of the Book 'Society Seen Through the Mirror of Life'
Paper URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2078736
Author: Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://isid.academia.edu/DebaprasadBandyopadhyay
Institution: Indian Statistical Institute
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Ling & Literature; Philosophy of Language
Subject Language: Bengali
Abstract: This was a short discourse analysis of an autobiographical account of Niranjan Bhowmik, a ruthlessly marginalized man, who was categorized as 'insane'. The book was transcribed and edited by Amit Ranjan Basu (published by the Bibhasa (2004) and distributed by the Progressive Publishers, Kolkata.) The reviewer mentioned that this book was an exceptional publication as the editor, a professional Health Care Provider, (a) preserved the so-called (mis) spelling and non-well-formed non-standardized syntactic constructions of Bhowmik, thus Basu did not play the role of language managers/-polices/-judges and celebrated the joy of heterography; (b) did not categorize the 'disease' of Bhowmik following any 'norm'-al scale. The editor followed the Foucauldian path of anti-Cartesianism (thus he was nullifying Chomsky) in his Preface. The analyst maintained that this book would draw the attention of linguists, who were problematizing the boundary between “normal” well-formed language (Chomskian position) and 'abnormal' speaking/writing following Foucauldian path. The reviewer questioned, 'How do we know the differences between 'norm'-al way of speaking and 'ab'-normal way of speaking?' Cartesian Linguistics analyzed the algorithm of 'normal' 'well-formed' sentences only. This very construction of 'natural language' (e.g., the well-constructed written sentences) mercilessly marginalizes the language of so-called non-'natural' madness or folly. This question might be elaborated further by taking cue from Goutam Bhadra : how do we distinguish between error (khyati) and non-error (akhyati), when we are talking about normal and natural language? Well-formed syntagms were used as examples in the Chomskian syntactic analysis. There was no scope for discursive paradigmatic recurrences. That was sanity. This text, edited by Amit Ranjan Basu, might open a new avenue in linguistics.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Amitranjan Basu, Sakar, Avik, ed., Anandabajar Patrika. 19 Feb 2005
URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2078736


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