"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.
Contrastive lexical semantics was the main topic of an International Workshop at the University of M|nster in May, 1997. It was addressed from different perspectives, from the pragmatic perspective of a corpus-oriented approach as well as from the model-oriented perspective of sign theoretic linguistics. Whereas the rule-governed model-oriented approach is necessarily restricted to subsets of vocabulary, the pragmatic approach aims to analyse and describe the whole vocabulary-in-use. After the pragmatic turn, lexical semantics can no longer be seen as a discipline on its own but has to be developed as an integral part of a theory of language use. Essential features of individual languages can be discovered only by looking beyond the limits of our mother languages and including a contrastive perspective. Within a pragmatic, corpus-oriented approach essential new ideas are discussed, mainly the insight that single words can no longer be considered to be the lexical unit. It is the complex multi-word lexical unit a pragmatic approach has to deal with.