"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.
This new perspective on language change looks at a number of developments
in the history of sounds and words and explains them in terms of Darwin's
evolutionary theory. Nikolaus Ritt demonstrates how the constituents of
language can be regarded as mental patterns, or "memes", which copy
themselves from one brain to another when communication and language
acquisition occur. Challenging established models of linguistic competence,
Ritt's controversial approach will stimulate debate among evolutionary
biologists, cognitive scientists and linguists.