"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 book applies recent theoretical insights to trace the development of
Castilian and Latin American Spanish from the Middle Ages onwards, through
processes of repeated dialect mixing both within the Iberian Peninsula and
in the New World. The author contends that it was this frequent mixing
which caused Castilian to evolve more rapidly than other varieties of
Hispano-Romance, and which rendered Spanish particularly subject to
levelling of its linguistic irregularities and to simplification of its
structures. These two processes continued as the language extended into and
across the Americas. These processes are viewed in the context of the
Hispano-Romance dialect continuum, which includes Galician, Portuguese and
Catalan, as well as New World varieties. The book emphasises the subtlety
and seamlessness of language variation, both geographical and social, and
the impossibility of defining strict boundaries between varieties. Its
conclusions will be relevant both to Hispanists and to historical
sociolinguists more generally.
"This book...is strongly recommended as essential background reading for
hispanists in general and as an introductory account for dialectologists
Language in Society