"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.
Did earlier speakers of English use the same speech acts that we use today?
Did they use them in the same way? How did they signal speech act values
and how did they negotiate them in case of uncertainty? These are some of
the questions that are addressed in this volume in innovative case studies
that cover a wide range of speech acts from Old English to Present-day
English. All the studies offer careful discussions of methodological and
theoretical issues as well as detailed descriptions of specific speech
acts. The first part of the volume is devoted to directives and
commissives, i.e. speech acts such as requests, commands and promises. The
second part is devoted to expressives and assertives and deals with speech
acts such as greetings, compliments and apologies. The third part, finally,
contains technical reports that deal primarily with the problem of
extracting speech acts from historical corpora.