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Lecture Summary (10/19/06)

The first aspect at the very beginning of our first meeting was the different languages of the world. A world map displayed where exactly which language is spoken. Another map pointed out where the different language families are located.

Afterwards we were told about the organisation of the course. The most important aspect was the creation of a website or at least a blog website to be able to publish a web portfolio (including summaries of lecture, tasks, reports and a glossary) every week on the internet. This technique contains several advantages compared to the use of paper or e-mail. A web portfolio makes the access and interaction easier and can be a source of material or tasks for the class because of its permanent availability via internet. Furthermore it gives the students the opportunity to use electronic media frequently and to improve their skills in this respect.

If you want to launch a website there are some options. You can run your own web server (for example by using the Apache server and saving your HTML files), use the university website or another web service provider (which means you have to upload your HTML files) or simply create a weblog (blog). But in every case the site has to be professionally formatted, look good and be user-friendly!

Having cleared the last details of the organisation Mr Gibbon gave an overview on the different topics to be expected in this semester.

After that the lecture focused on the definitions of "website", "hypertext" and "text".

A website is a hypertext document on the World Wide Web containing embedded document objects, linked document objects, texts, pictures, etc. It is available everywhere at any time (the onely condition: you have to be connected to the internet) and can be linked with other websites.

The word hypertext describes any text document on the internet (for example electronic dictionary, blog,etc.) as well as a help document for a computer application.

A text has to be seen as a group of sentences standing in context. These sentences consist generally speaking of words (which consist of letters). 

A text features three properties: meaning (semantics, pragmatics), formulation (text structure) and appearence (media). Meaning and appearance belong to the so called shared world, formulation to the world of the mind.



What are the following and how old are they?

Indo-European: a large family of languages spoken from South Asia to Western Europe and the United States, comprising the Balto-Slavonic, Germanic, Italic, Indo-Iranian, Celtic, Greek, Albanian, Armenian, Anatolian, and Tocharian branches. This language family includes many modern languages such as Bangla, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, and Urdu. According to Wikipedia the Anatolian languages (the first branch) were spoken in the 18th century BC.

Proto-Germanic: the reconstructed ancestor of the Germanic languages, descended from Proto-Indo-European. It was spoken during the Iron Age.

Old English: the earliest form of the English language, used from the fifth to the twelfth century. It was first written using the runic alphabet.

Middle English: the form of the English language spoken and written between the 12th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. The leading dialects of this period were Kentish, West Saxon, West Midland, East Midland, and Northern.

Early Modern English:the English language represented in printed documents of the period starting with Caxton (1476) and ending with Dryden (1700)

What are the main differences between English and German?

  • In German every noun is capitalized while in English only names (of persons, countries, companies) are written with a capital letter at the beginning.
  • There are three different articles in the German language (der/die/das), the english language has only one (the).
  • In English the 2nd person in the singular and plural is identical (you), german speakers employ 2 different forms (singular: du; plural: ihr).
  • If you adress someone in German you have to choose between 2 forms (du/sie), in English there is only one form (you).
24.10.06 19:38

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