"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.
This new and important study of semantic change examines how new meanings
arise through language use, especially the various ways in which speakers
and writers experiment with uses of words and constructions in the flow of
strategic interaction with addressees. In the last few decades there has
been growing interest in exploring systemicities in semantic change from a
number of perspectives including theories of metaphor, pragmatic
inferencing, and grammaticalization. Like earlier studies, these have for
the most part been based on data taken out of context. This book is the
first detailed examination of semantic change from the perspective of
historical pragmatics and discourse analysis. Drawing on extensive corpus
data from over a thousand years of English and Japanese textual history,
Traugott and Dasher show that most changes in meaning originate in and are
motivated by the associative flow of speech and conceptual metonymy.