"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.
Synchronic sociolinguistics has been particularly convincing in its use of
quantitative models to demonstrates how ‘the present might explain the
past’. However, the relevance of sociolinguistics to historical linguistics
‘using the past to explain the present’, has been largely ignored. In this
volume Dr. Romaine lays the foundation for a field of research encompassing
both historical linguistics and sociolinguistics, which aims to investigate
and account for language variation within a particular speech community
over time. The socio-historical approach is illustrated here by a detailed
analysis of the development of relative clause formation strategies in
Middle Scots. This case study raises fundamental questions about the
epistemological status of sociolinguistic theory and in particular its
claims to an empirical foundation. Her own preliminary suggestions for a
truly integrative sociolinguistic theory will be of interest to
sociolinguists, historical linguists and general linguists.