"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.
Van Dijk presents a new theory of context that explains how text and talk
are adapted to their social environment. He argues that instead of the
usual direct relationship being established between society and discourse,
this influence is indirect and depends on how language users themselves
'define' the communicative situation. The new concept Van Dijk introduces
for such definitions is that of context models. These models control all
language production and understanding and explain how discourse is made
appropriate in each situation. They are the missing link between language
and society so far ignored in pragmatics and sociolinguistics. In this
interdisciplinary book, the new theory of context is developed from a
linguistic and psychological perspective. The theory is applied to the
domain of politics, including the debate about the war in Iraq, where
political leaders' speeches serve as a case study for detailed contextual