"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.
Speech is the principal supporting medium of language. In this book
Pierre-Yves Oudeyer considers how spoken language first emerged. He
presents an original and integrated view of the interactions between
self-organization and natural selection, reformulates questions about the
origins of speech, and puts forward what at first sight appears to be a
startling proposal - that speech can be spontaneously generated by the
coupling of evolutionarily simple neural structures connecting perception
He explores this hypothesis by constructing a computational system to model
the effects of linking auditory and vocal motor neural nets. He shows that
a population of agents which used holistic and unarticulated vocalizations
at the outset are inexorably led to a state in which their vocalizations
have become discrete, combinatorial, and categorized in the same way by all
group members. Furthermore, the simple syntactic rules that have emerged to
regulate the combinations of sounds exhibit the fundamental properties of
modern human speech systems.