"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.
Migration, Accommodation and Language Change
Language at the Intersection of Regional and Ethnic Identity
In the early decades of the twentieth century, large numbers of African
American and White Southerners migrated from the rural South to the urban
Midwest as part of the most significant internal migration in US history.
This is a linguistic study of the Southern migrant experience in Detroit, a
city with a reputation of being the most racially polarized and
residentially segregated urban area in America. Although African American
and Appalachian White southern migrants and their descendants are two
groups that are separated by ethnicity, they share a regional affiliation
with the South as well as Southern cultural characteristics. This situation
provides a unique opportunity to examine ways in which the interaction of
ethnicity and regional affiliation give rise to systematic patterns of
language variation and change and phonetic restructuring as a result of
language contact. Linguistic effects of large-scale migration for these two
Southern groups across three generations of speakers are described and
compared to the surrounding dialect norms of Midwestern Whites, through
acoustic analysis of portions of the vowel systems. The quantitative
acoustic analysis is interpreted with reference to rich qualitative data
obtained through the author's four years of ethnographic fieldwork.