"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.
Although English comment clauses such as 'I think' and 'you know' have been
widely studied, this book constitutes the first full-length diachronic
treatment, focusing on comment clauses formed with common verbs of
perception and cognition in a variety of syntactic forms. It understands
comment clauses as causal pragmatic markers that undergo
grammaticalisation, and acquire pragmatic and politeness functions and
subjective and intersubjective meanings. To date, the prevailing view of
their syntactic development, which is extrapolated from synchronic studies,
is that they originate in matrix clauses which become syntactically
indeterminate and are reanalysed as parenthetical. In this corpus-based
study, Laurel J. Brinton shows that the historical data do not bear out
this view, and proposes a more varied and complex conception of the
development of comment clauses. Researchers and students of the English
language and historical linguistics will certainly consider Brinton’s
findings to be of great interest.