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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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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.


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Title: The Evolution of Communication Systems
Subtitle: A Comparative Approach
Edited By: D. Kimbrough Oller
Ulrike Griebel
URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/promotions/books/FL20040262151111
Series Title: The Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology
Description:

The search for origins of communication in a wide variety of species
including humans is rapidly becoming a thoroughly interdisciplinary
enterprise. In this volume, scientists engaged in the fields of
evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental
psychology, philosophy, the cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural
network modeling come together to explore a comparative approach to the
evolution of communication systems. The comparisons range from parrot talk
to squid skin displays, from human language to Aibo the robot dog's
language learning, and from monkey babbling to the newborn human infant
cry. The authors explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding the
emergence of human language, which they propose to be intricately connected
with drastic changes in human life style. While it is not yet clear what
the physical environmental circumstances were that fostered social changes
in the hominid line, the volume offers converging evidence and theory from
several lines of research suggesting that language depended upon the
restructuring of ancient human social groups.

The volume also offers new theoretical treatments of both primitive
communication systems and human language, providing new perspectives on how
to recognize both their similarities and their differences. Explorations of
new technologies in robotics, neural network modeling and pattern
recognition offer many opportunities to simulate and evaluate theoretical
proposals.

The North American and European scientists who have contributed to this
volume represent a vanguard of thinking about how humanity came to have the
capacity for language and how non-humans provide a background of remarkable
capabilities that help clarify the foundations of speech.

Contributors
Michael A. Arbib, Morten H. Christiansen, Rick Dale, Robin I. M. Dunbar,
William Tecumseh Sherman Fitch, Peter Gärdenfors, Ulrike Griebel, William
F. Harms, James Hurford, Magnus S. Magnusson, Jennifer Mather, Ruth Garrett
Millikan, D. Kimbrough Oller, Donald H. Owings, Irene Pepperberg, Chris
Sinha, Charles Snowdon, Luc Steels, Debra M. Zeifman.

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
Anthropological Linguistics
Language Acquisition
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262151111
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 352
Prices: U.S. $ 45