"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.
Copular Sentences at the Syntax-Semantics Interface
This book considers the syntax and semantics of non-verbal predicates (i.e., nominal, adjectival and prepositional predicates) in copular sentences. Isabelle Roy explores how a single structure for predication can account for the different interpretations of non-verbal predicates. The book departs from earlier studies by arguing in favor of a ternary distinction between defining / characterizing / situation-descriptive predicates rather than the more common stage-level/individual distinction. The distinction is based on two semantic criteria, namely maximality (i.e., whether the predicate describes an eventuality that has spatio-temporal properties or not) and density (i.e. whether the spatio-temporal properties are perceived as atomic or not). The author argues in favor of a strong correlation between the semantics properties of predicates and their internal syntactic structure. Her analysis accounts for seemingly unrelated cross-linguistic data: the indefinite article in French, the distribution of the two copulas 'ser'/'estar' in Spanish, and case marking on Russian predicates.