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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: The Possibility of Language
Written By: Alan Melby
Terry Warner
Series Title: Benjamins Translation Library

This book is about the limits of machine translation. It is widely recognized that machine translation systems do much better on domain-specific controlled-language texts (domain texts for short) than on dynamic general-language texts (general texts for short). The authors explore this general domain distinction and come to some uncommon conclusions about the nature of language. Domain language is claimed to be made possible by general language, while general language is claimed to be made possible by ethics. Domain language is unharmed by the constraints of objectivism, while general language is suffocated by those constraints. Along the way to these conclusions, visits are made to Descartes and Saussure, to Chomsky and Lakoff, to Wittgenstein and Levinas. From these conclusions, consequences are drawn for machine translation and translator tools, for linguistic theory and translation theory. The title of the book does not question whether language is possible, it asks, with wonder and awe, why communication through language is possible.

Publication Year: 1997
Publisher: John Benjamins
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Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
Text/Corpus Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556196954
ISBN-13: 9781556196959
Pages: 276
Prices: U.S. $ 149