"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.
Current academic discussions and public debates frequently focus on the
importance of defending languages against various kinds of dangers. Many
focus on defending institutionalized languages against multilingualism, or
conversely defending minority languages against the incursion of larger
ones. This book challenges such a view, to argue that the discussions in
question are not about language itself, but rather that we are witnessing,
on the terrain of language, ideological struggles which are centrally about
the position of nation states and of minorities in the new globalized world
order. Covering a wide-range of languages from different sociolinguistic
perspectives, this book is essential reading for academics interested in
language endangerment and sociolinguistics.