"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 volume presents the results of several decades of inquiry into the social origins and social motivation of linguistic change. It includes the first complete report on the Philadelphia project designed to establish the social location of the leaders of linguistic change. These findings are developed further on the basis of a broad range of sociolinguistic studies in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the recently completed Atlas of North American English.
Successive chapters on social class, neighborhood, ethnicity, gender, and social networks delineate the leaders of linguistic change as women of the upper working class with a high density of interaction within their neighborhoods and a high proportion of weak ties outside of it. Detailed portraits of individual leaders show that the women who lead linguistic change are distinguished from others by their general pattern of deviation from established norms of conformity. Mathematical models are developed to account for the linear incrementation of change in progress, and the transmission of change across generations.