"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 author questions the status quo in Romance linguistics regarding such
matters as auxiliary selection, partitive cliticization, bare subjects,
participle agreement, and more. For the past two decades the
Ergative/Unaccusative syntactic approach has been accepted as the orthodox
analytical paradigm. He here re-examines both the theoretical imperative
and the empirical evidence for that approach, drawing on a large amount of
new and surprising data from Italian, Spanish, French and Catalan, and
concludes that it is essentially unmotivated. Alternative explanations are
advanced, based on information structure, semantics and the impact on
synchrony of diachronic change. The picture that emerges is one of a
complex but interrelated set of causalities.