"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 reviews recent research on the second language acquisition of
meaning with a view of establishing whether there is a critical period for
the acquisition of compositional semantics. A modular approach to language
architecture is assumed. The book addresses the Critical Period Hypothesis
by examining the positive side of language development: it demonstrates
which modules of the grammar are easy to acquire and are not subject to age
effects. The Bottleneck Hypothesis is proposed, which argues that
inflectional morphology and its features present the most formidable
challenge, while syntax and phrasal semantics pose less difficulty to
learners. Findings from the neurofunctional imaging (PET, fMRI) and
electrophysiology (ERPs) of L2 comprehension are reviewed and critically
examined. Since it is argued that experimental tasks in those studies are
mostly in need of linguistic refinement, evidence from behavioral studies
of L2 acquisition of semantics are brought to bear on comprehension
modeling. Learning situations are divided into two types: those presenting
learners with complex syntax, but simple semantics; and those offering
complex semantic mismatches in simple syntactic contexts. The numerous
studies of both types reviewed in the book indicate that there is no
barrier to ultimate success in the acquisition of phrasal semantics.