"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.
Alternative Linguistics: Descriptive and Theoretical Modes
The papers in this volume were presented at the Fifth Biennial Symposium of the Department of Linguistics, Rice University, March 1993. The participants were asked to concentrate in depth and in a self-reflective way upon some range of data. The intent was multifold. The first purpose was descriptive. It was expected that the participants would carry out their task in a retrospective way, exemplifying and building upon their previous work, but it was also expected that they would begin to demonstrate the configuration of some area in a more comprehensive picture of language. The point was to take (at least) one substantive step in the depiction of what we think language will ultimately be like. The contributions were both specific and generalizing, with focus as much upon methodology as upon hypotheses about language. In examining descriptive practice, we continued to concentrate upon issues which concerned us all, and at the same time we tried to advance the discourse by the results of such description. We hoped that problematic and recalcitrant data would make our own practice clearer to us and that it might also instruct us in the refinement of our conceptions of language. Contributions by: Michael Bamberg, D. L. Ammirati & Sheila Shea; Philip W Davis; Barbara A. Fox & Robert Jasperson; John Haiman; Ronald W. Langacker; Tsuyoshi Ono & Sandra A. Thompson; Stephen A. Tyler; Anna Wierzbicka.