"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.
Vowel Lengthening and Shortening in Early Middle English
This is a unified account of all quantity changes affecting English
stressed vowels during the early Middle English period. Dr Ritt discusses
homorganic lengthening, open syllable lengthening, trisyllabic shortening,
and shortening before consonant clusters. The study is based on a
statistical analysis of Modern English reflexes of the changes. The
complete corpus of analysed data is made available to the reader in the
appendices. All of the changes discussed are shown to derive from basically
the same set of quasi-universal tendencies, while apparent idiosyncrasies
are shown to follow from factors that are independent of the underlying
tendencies themselves. The role of tendencies, i.e. probabilistic laws in
the description of language change, is given thorough theoretical
treatment. In his aim to account for the changes as well as trace their
chronology, Dr Ritt applies principles of natural phonology, and examines
the conflict between phonological and morphological 'necessities'.