"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.
On Reconstructing Grammar: Comparative Cariban Morphosyntax
This book has two important aims. The first is to argue that grammaticalization theory has advanced to the point where it can be used with the comparative method to reconstruct the grammar of Proto-Languages. The second is to give a detailed case-study of this methodology by examining the typologically interesting Cariban language family of South America--a language group that has, according to most linguists, an impossible (that is, far too technical) syntactic structure. Spike Gildea's findings answer long-standing questions about the historical reconstruction of grammar and will interest linguists concerned with South American languages and with grammaticalization, as well as those working in the descriptive or functional traditions.