"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.
Learnability and the Lexicon in Second L2 Acquisition. Chinese Learner's acquisition of English argument structure
This book provides a critical review of recent theories of semantics-syntax correspondences and makes new proposals for constraints on semantic structure relevant to syntax. Data from several languages are presented which suggest that semantic structure in root morphemes is subject to parametric variation which has effects across a variety of verb classes, including locatives, unaccusatives, and psych verbs. The implications for first and second language acquisition are discussed. In particular, it is suggested that different parametric settings may lead to a learnability problem if adult learners do not retain access to sensitivity to underlying semantic organization and morphological differences between languages provided by Universal Grammar. An experiment with Chinese-speaking learners of English is presented which shows that learners initially transfer L1 semantic organization to the L2, but are able to retreat from overgeneralizations and achieve native-like grammars in this area.Suggestions for further research in this rapidly developing area of theory and acquisition research are also made.