"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.
During its long history the problem of reducing language to writing, and conversely that of interpreting written signs as language, has found a variety of solutions which still exist in the form of different writing systems. Written by a leading expert, this new textbook provides an accessible introduction to the major writing systems of the world, from cuneiform to English spelling. Florian Coulmas presents detailed descriptions of the world's writing systems and explains their structural complexities as well as the intricate relationship between written and spoken language. The book also provides a clear and engaging account of the history of writing and its consequences for human thought and literate society. This illustrated textbook includes questions for discussion at the end of each chapter, and an up-to-date explanation of theoretical issues. Clearly organised and engagingly written, it is the ideal textbook for use on courses on writing systems.