"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.
Note: This is the re-issue of a previously published book.
Dr Cheshire's fieldwork concentrates on phonological variation in
spontaneous everyday conversation. She interviews a group of non-standard
English speakers living in Reading, Berkshire. Her data provides a basis
for a perceptive analysis of variation in contemporary English and of the
nature and function of variation in general. She specifically focuses on
morphological and syntactic variation, and thus also provides a valid
description between standard English and a variety used by working-class
speakers, which will interest not only linguists including sociolinguists
and dialectologists, but many workers in education. Linguistic and social
constraints on variation are established, and the analysis also
demonstrates how speakers are able to exploit the resources of the language
system to convey social meaning. The data Dr Cheshire has collected are in
themselves an important contribution to the study of language in its social
context, whilst the analysis has significant theoretical implications for
diachronic and synchronic linguistics.