"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 Katuic Languages
Classification, Reconstruction and Comparative Lexicon
The Katuic languages are a branch of the Mon-Khmer family with more than a
million speakers in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The present study
compiles data from various sources, including recent fieldwork that has
helped to reveal the extent and diversity of the family. Sixteen languages
are compared to produce a comparative reconstruction of the Proto Katuic
phonology and lexicon, including 1400 etymologies and reconstructions, and
many wider MK comparisons.
Katuic languages are particularly significant for their rich vowel systems,
which are among the most complex in the world, and include contrastive
phonation types or 'registers'. In some cases these arose from the
splitting of vowels in connection with changes in initial consonants.
Interestingly it appears that register systems arose independently at least
three times in the history of the Katuic family.
The reconstruction of Proto Katuic reveals an archaic phonological system
not far removed from Proto Mon-Khmer, and the study is augmented with an
index of Proto Mon-Khmer reconstructions by the late Professor Harry Shorto
The author is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Pacific and Asian
Studies of the Australian National University, where his work is supported
by the Max Planck Institute (Leipzig).