"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 phenomenon of language contact, and how it affects the structure of
languages, has been of great interest to linguists in recent years. This
pioneering new study looks at how grammatical forms and structures evolve
when speakers of two languages come into contact, and offers an interesting
new insight into the mechanism that induces people to transfer grammatical
structures from one language to another. Drawing on findings from languages
all over the world, Language Contact and Grammatical Change shows that the
transfer of linguistic material across languages is quite regular and
follows universal patterns of grammaticalization - contrary to previous
claims that it is a fairly irregular process - and argues that internal and
external explanations of language structure and change are in no way
mutually exclusive. Engaging and informative, this book will be of great
interest to sociolinguists, linguistic anthropologists, and all those
working on grammaticalization, language contact, and language change.