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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.

Query Details

Query Subject:   Prefabricated unit
Author:   Tommy Wasserman
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   Dear listmembers

In an introduction to Semantics I - a Swedish student of linguistics,
and newcomer to this list - read about "prefabricated units" and the
claim that language users store not just individual words but also
longer idiomatic expressions and whole sentences in their vocabulary.
Then followed a reference to Bolinger's Aspects of Language, 1975: 30,
107-11 (2nd ed.). Are there any more studies on this matter? (e.g.
contra Bolinger). What methodology would one utilize in trying to prove
that there are differences between prefabricated word formations and
composite syntactic constructions, created according to the general
grammatical rules of a language?

With kindest regards

Tommy Wasserman

LL Issue: 12.2454
Date posted: 03-Oct-2001


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