"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 is a comprehensive introduction to the statistical analysis of word frequency distributions, intended for computational linguists, corpus linguists, psycholinguists, and researchers in the field of quantitative stylistics. Word frequency distributions are characterized by very large numbers of rare words. This property leads to strange phenomena such as mean frequencies that systematically change as the number of observations is increased, relative frequencies that even in large samples are not fully reliable estimators of population probabilities, and model parameters that vary with text or corpus size. Special statistical techniques for the analysis of distributions with large numbers of rare events can be found in various technical journals. The aim of this book is to make these techniques more accessible for non-specialists, both theoretically, by means of a careful introduction to the underlying probabilistic and statistical concepts, and practically, by providing a program library implementing the main models for word frequency distributions.