"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 insightful study proposes a unified theory of speech through which
conflicting ideas about language might be understood. It is founded on a
number of key points, such as the continuum of linguistic behavior,
extensive variation in language features, the importance of regional and
social proximity to shared linguistic production, and differential
frequency as a key factor in linguistic production both in regional and
social groups and in text corpora. The study shows how this new linguistics
of speech does not reject rules in favor of language use, or reject
language use in favor of rules; rather, it shows how rules can come from
language as people use it. Written in a clear, engaging style and
containing invaluably accessible introductions to complex theoretical
concepts, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of
sociolinguistics, dialectology and corpus linguistics.