"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.
With over half the languages of the world currently in danger of extinction
within a century, the need for high quality grammatical descriptions is
more urgent than ever. Potential grammar writers, however, often find
themselves paralyzed by the daunting task of describing a language. The
papers in the present volume (originally published in Studies in
Language 30:2 (2006)) provide suggestions and encouragement – from
experienced grammar writers and users – regarding concrete methods for
approaching the task of writing a descriptive grammar of a language.
Salient "themes" emerging from the papers in this volume include: The
necessity of community involvement in grammatical descriptions; The link
between a grammar and the other products of a program of language
documentation (a dictionary and collection of texts); The complementary
functions of elicited vs. naturally occurring data; and grammatical
description as 'art' as well as 'science'.