"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.
Agreement Patterns in English
Diachronic Corpus Studies on Common-Number Pronouns
Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki LXXI
Common-number pronouns, such as generic he and singular they, have a high
profile in certain areas of today's linguistic research, and have been a
topic for intense debate and prescriptivism for centuries. The research
presented in this book focuses on corpus linguistic observations of
common-number pronouns from the 16th century to the present day,
investigating the processes of change in pronominal agreement patterns in
two closely-related common-number structures, one anaphoric and one
cataphoric. This research illustrates (dis)similarities in the variant
frequencies in these structures and explores the types of sociolinguistic
generalisation which can be made concerning this particular change. Using
quantitative evidence of the diachronic paths of common-number pronouns,
the study suggests a scale modelling the role of various social factors and
language-internal constraints in language variation and change.