"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.
An areal-linguistic study of the alienability correlation and related phenomena in the languages of Europe
This book is a functional-typological study of possession splits in
European languages. It shows that genetically and structurally diverse
languages such as Icelandic, Welsh, and Maltese display possessive
systems which are sensitive to semantically based distinctions
reminiscent of the alienability correlation. These distinctions are
grammatically relevant in many European languages because they
require dedicated constructions. What makes these split possessive
systems interesting for the linguist is the interaction of semantic
criteria with pragmatics and syntax. Neutralisation of distinctions
occurs under focus. The same happens if one of the constituents of a
possessive construction is syntactically heavy. These effects can be
observed in the majority of the 50 sample languages. Possessive
splits are strong in those languages which are outside the Standard
Average European group. The bulk of the European languages do not
behave much differently from those non-European languages for
which possession splits are reported. The book reveals interesting
new facts about European languages and possession to typologists,
universals researchers, and areal linguists.