"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
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.
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.
Please – from courtesy to appeal: the role of intonation in the expression of attitudinal meaning
Intonation is known to convey many nuances of meaning, both emotional and attitudinal, but a way of explaining how these meanings arise has so far remained elusive. While some emotions may have direct correlates in a speaker's voice, such correlates are harder to find for attitudinal meanings.
The word please is typically a routine expression of courtesy, but data from the International Corpus of British English (ICE GB) reveals please to be a pragmatic marker with a wide range of expressive functions. This study, which uses a quantitative approach combined with qualitative analysis, has implications for the study of other pragmatic particles, and also provides the basis for the understanding of attitudinal intonation in a wider context.