"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 study investigates the properties of several ancient syllabic and linear segmental scripts to make explicit the aspects of linguistic knowledge they attempt to represent. Some recent experimental work suggests that nonliterate speakers do not have segmental knowledge and that only syllabic knowledge is real or accessible, whence the ubiquity of syllabaries. Miller disputes this by showing that such tests do not distinguish relevant types of knowledge, and that linguistic analysis of the ordering and writing conventions of early Western scripts corroborates the evidence from language acquisition, use, and change for segment awareness. By coding segments, the ancient syllabaries represented more phonological knowledge than the alphabet, which was a poor compromise between the vowelless West Semitic scripts and the vowel-redundant syllabic scripts.