"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.
Pattern and Process: A Whiteheadian Perspective On Linguistics
The purpose of this book is to illustrate the relevance to linguistics today of Whitehead's philosophy of organism. Although largely ignored by linguists, Whitehead has in fact much to say as regards the cognitive processes underpinning language pattern. His theory of symbolism conceives of language as the 'systematization of expression', and relates meaning to feeling (in the broadest sense). The Whiteheadian perspective allows a synthesis of the psychological and the social approaches to language that does not fall into one or another fashionable form of reductionism. The volume represents a first application of Whitehead's thinking to a broad range of linguistic phenomena, ranging from speech act theory to the production and comprehension of texts, from language acquisition to historical change and the evolution of language. It is argued that Whitehead's holistic philosophy is uniquely suited to the view of language as an emergent phenomenon - regardless of whether one's approach to cognition is via the 'nativist' or the 'functionalist' route.