"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.
The main function of language is to convey meaning. Therefore, argues Bernd Heine in these pages, the question of why language is structured the way it is must first of all be answered with reference to this function. Linguistic explanations offered in terms of other exponents of language structure (for example, syntax) are likely to highlight peripheral or epi-phenomenal--rather than central--characteristics of language structure. Heine provides a solid introductory treatment of the ways in which language structure (that is, grammar) and language usage can be explained with reference to the processes underlying human conceptualization and communication. Exploring an area of linguistics that has developed only recently and is rapidly expanding, Cognitive Foundations of Grammar will appeal to students of linguistics, psychology, and anthropology, especially those interested in grammaticalization processess.