"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.
Speaking in Other Voices. An ethnography of Walloon puppet theaters
Linking actual instances of language use with structures of social power in francophone Belgium, Gross outlines the history and contemporary configuration of rod puppetry in LiC(ge. The analysis of this working class performance art moves between what occurs on and off stage. As puppeteers speak in other voices, sometimes in Walloon and sometimes in French, they create a sociolinguistic model based on 19th century renditions of medieval texts, the voices of past puppeteers, and the language that surrounds them. The high level of linguistic reflexivity created by the regional language movement has led to frequent metalinguistic and metapragmatic commentaries within the puppet shows. This complex speech genre embedded in social context shows the influence of identity struggles: from local class oppositions to imperial designs abroad. Keeping a tight focus on language, "Speaking in Other Voices" examines the process of entextualization and recontextualization as stories of war and religion are transmitted to succeeding generations.