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This book offers an original account of the dynamics of syntactic change and the evolving structure of Old Spanish that combines rigorous manuscript-based investigation, quantitative analysis and a syntactic approach grounded in Minimalist thinking. Its analysis of both successful and failed changes demonstrates the degree of unpredictability caused by the interaction of competing factors and will shed fresh light on the assumed unidirectionality of linguistic change. Importantly, it reveals that Old Spanish and modern Spanish are more similar to one another than is usually supposed and demonstrates that many of the differences between the two varieties are quantitative rather than qualitative.
Leaping off the page with energy, insight, and attitude, Liza Bakewell's exploration of language is anything but "just semantics." Why does me vale madre mean worthless, while !qué padre! means fabulous, she asks? And why do one hundred madres disappear when one padre enters the room, converting the group from madres to padres? Thus begins a journey through Mexican culture in all its color: weddings, dinner parties, an artist's studio, heart-stopping taxi rides, angry journalists, corrupt politicians, Blessed Virgins, and mothers both sacred and profane.Along the way, a reader discovers not only an invaluable lexicon of Mexican slang (to be used with caution or not at all) but also thought-provoking reflections on the evolution of language; its winding path through culture, religion, and politics; and, not least, what it means--and what it threatens--to be a creative female, a madre.
A Place of Words examines the fifth and most controversial edition of the dictionary of the Académie Française, published in 1798 and spanning several regimes before the publication of the sixth in 1835. Full of anachronisms and appearing to slight the French Revolution, from the outset the edition received much judgement and critique. Under the Consulate, the government used it as an instrument to assert control over the language.
This new history of the French language allows the reader to see how the language has evolved for themselves. It combines texts and extracts with a readable and detailed commentary allowing the language to be viewed both synchronically and diachronically. Core texts range from the ninth century to the present day highlight central features of the language, whilst a range of shorter texts illustrate particular points. The inclusion of non-literary, as well as literary texts serves to illustrate some of the many varieties of French whether in legal, scientific, epistolatory, administrative or liturgical or in more popular domains, including attempts to represent spoken usage. This is essential reading for the undergraduate student of French.
Why does everything sound better if it's said in French? That fascination is at the heart of The Story of French, the first history of one of the most beautiful languages in the world that was, at one time, the pre-eminent language of literature, science and diplomacy.
Grimm Language addresses a number of issues in the Grimms' fairy tales from a (Germanic) linguist's point of view. In sections dealing with the Grimms' use of regional dialect material, various grammatical constructions, and specific nouns and adjectives in their Children's and Household Tales, the author argues that the Grimms were consciously or unconsciously following a number of objectives. These included reinforcing the overall Germanic impression of the tales (though we now know that many of them had French inspiration), striking the right balance between archaic and colloquial language to arrive at an ideal narrative style for what was arguably a new genre, and promoting or at least reflecting stereotypes concerning the proper roles for boys and girls. The book will be of interest not only to those interested in fairy tales, and the Grimms' in particular, but also more generally to those interested in the intersection between linguistics and literary scholarship.
In the decades leading up to World War I, nationalist activists in imperial Austria labored to transform linguistically mixed rural regions into politically charged language frontiers. They hoped to remake local populations into polarized peoples and their villages into focal points of the political conflict that dominated the Habsburg Empire. But they often found bilingual inhabitants accustomed to cultural mixing who were stubbornly indifferent to identifying with only one group.
For some time, historical lexicography has been suspended between the demands of traditional philology, modern metalexicography, and technical innovation. The essays in this compilation volume reflect the challenges associated with these demands as well as ways to overcome them. They also reveal that historical lexicography is conceptually and institutionally capable of continuously re-inventing itself.
The study of emotions and emotional displays has achieved a deserved prominence in recent classical scholarship. This collection of seventeen essays by fifteen authors features the emotion of disgust as one cutting edge of the study of Greek and Roman antiquity. Individual contributions explore a wide range of topics. These include the semantics of the emotion both in Greek and Latin literature, its social uses as a means of marginalizing individuals or groups of individuals, such as politicians judged deviant or witches, its role in determining aesthetic judgments, and its potentialities as an elicitor of aesthetic pleasure.
The emotions have long been an interest for those studying ancient Greece and Rome. But while the last few decades have produced excellent studies of individual emotions and the different approaches to them by the major philosophical schools, the focus has been almost entirely on negative emotions. This might give the impression that the Greeks and Romans had little to say about positive emotion, something that would be misguided. As the chapters in this collection indicate, there are representations of positive emotions extending from archaic Greek poetry to Augustine, and in both philosophical works and literary genres as wide-ranging as lyric poetry, forensic oratory, comedy, didactic poetry, and the novel. The ancient works have a great deal to say about all of these topics, and for that reason deserve more study, both for our understanding of antiquity and for our understanding of the positive emotions in general.