"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.
While several languages spoken in Suriname (South America) have received a
great deal of attention in the linguistics literature, including various
creole languages such as Sranan and Saramaccan, the amount of information
available on Suriname’s official language, Dutch, is remarkably limited.
This lacuna is rooted in the widely-held assumption that Dutch in Suriname
has remained relatively similar to its European ancestor throughout its
300-year history in the former colony. The present study proves this
assumption fundamentally false, by providing a detailed analysis of the
morphosyntactic characteristics that set Surinamese Dutch apart from
European Dutch. Focusing on Dutch as spoken by one of the main ethnic
groups, the descendants of the African slave population (the 'Creoles'),
this study establishes Surinamese Dutch as a language variety in its own
right, a variety that is furthermore heavily influenced by Sranan, the
English-based creole language widely spoken in Suriname. One of the most
important findings of the study is that the majority of distinguishing
morphosyntactic characteristics located in Surinamese Dutch concern forms
that are also found in European Dutch but which have assumed new functions
in Surinamese Dutch, resulting in a phenomenon identified as grammatical
camouflage. Extensive grammatical camouflage then explains to a large
extent why numerous differences between Surinamese Dutch and European Dutch
have gone undetected until now.