"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 book looks at the relationship between linguistic universals and
language change. Reflecting the resurgence of work in both fields over the
last two decades, it addresses two related issues of central importance in
linguistics: the balance between synchronic and diachronic factors in
accounting for universals of linguistic structure, and the means of
distinguishing genuine aspects of a universal human cognitive capacity for
language from regularities that may be traced to extraneous origins.
The volume brings together specially commissioned work by leading scholars,
including prominent representatives of generative and functional
linguistics. It examines rival explanations for linguistic universals and
assesses the effectiveness of competing models of language change. The
authors investigate patterns and processes of grammatical and lexical
change across a wide range of languages; they consider the degree to which
common characteristics condition processes of change in related languages;
and examine how far differences in linguistic outcomes may be explained by
cultural or external factors.
This book will interest the wide range of scholars in linguistics and
related fields concerned with language change, historical linguistics,
linguistic typology and universals, and the nature of the human language