"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.
It is increasingly clear that, in order to understand language as a phenomenon, we must understand the phenomenon of text. Our primary experience of language comes in the form of texts, which embody the complete communicative events through which our language-using lives are lived. These events are shaped by communicative needs, and this shaping is reflected in certain characteristic patterns in the texts. However, the nature of texts and text is still elusive: we know which forms are typically found in text but we do not yet have a full grasp of how they constitute its textuality, how they make a text "tick". The twelve contributions to this volume show how texts across a wide range of text types hold together by different patterns of chunking and linking. The common purpose in all the contributions is to explore the nature of text patterning as the functional environment within which language operates.