"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 book offers a new view of the linguistic process of standardization,
the movement of specific language features towards uniformity. Drawing on
theoretical arguments and empirical data, it examines the way in which
linguistic conformity develops out of variation, and the textual and social
factors which influence this process. After defining and clarifying the
general theoretical issues involved, Professor Devitt takes as a specific
case study the standardization of written English in Scotland in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and shows that standardization is a
gradual process, that it encompasses periods of great variation and that it
occurs concurrently with sociopolitical shifts. The interrelationship of
linguistic features, genres and social pressures shapes the nature and
direction of standardization. This is a readable and accessible book which
will appeal to those involved in the study of Scots-English, and is of
importance for linguistic methodology and the study and teaching of literacy.