"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.
Interrogative clauses in French show abundant variation, especially with
regard to the position of the subject vis-à-vis the finite verb, the
placement of the wh-word, and the use of question markers such as est-ce
que and ti/tu. This book presents a comprehensive study of the evolution
and use of French interrogative constructions across a time span of
approximately five hundred years by drawing on written sources (15th to
17th century) and oral data (19th and 20th century). Special attention is
paid to the regional variation between European French and Quebec French. A
variationist analysis reveals the relevant sociolinguistic factors
conditioning variant choice. On the basis of the results obtained, the
syntax of the different variants is modeled within the framework of
generative grammar. In particular, the progressive diachronic decline and
restriction of subject-verb inversion is argued to mirror the loss of verb
movement. This book is of interest to anyone concerned with syntactic
variation and change.