"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.
Responding in Conversation. A study of response particles in Finnish
This book concerns particles that are used as responses in conversations. It provides much needed methodological tools for analyzing the use of response particles in languages, while its particular focus is Finnish. The book focuses on two Finnish particles, nii(n) and joo, which in some of their central usages have "yeah" and "yes" as their closest English counterparts. The two particles are discussed in a number of sequential and activity contexts, including their use as answers to yes-no questions and directives, as responses to a stance-taking by the prior speaker, and in the midst of an extended telling by the co-participant. It will be shown how there is a fine-grained division of labor between the particles, having to do with the epistemic and affective character of the talk and the continuation vs. closure-relevance of the activity. The book connects the interactional usages of the particles with what is known about their historical origins, and in this fashion it is also of interest to linguists doing research on processes of grammaticalization and lexicalization.