"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.
Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki LXXII
The twelve articles of the present volume are grouped under two headings:
'Meaning and mind' and 'Meaning and grammar'. The studies in the first part
mainly deal with cognitive semantics, and those in the second part with
various types of reanalysis and grammaticalisation. Special attention is
paid to language in use as a means of communication, and to change through
variation. The articles make ample use of English corpora from Old to
The studies have many points of contact in their discussions of semantic
and structural change over the long history of English. The most obvious
are metaphoric and metonymic changes and the specialisation or
generalisation of meaning. Subjectification is closely connected with many
of the changes discussed, as well as changes in the socio-cultural
environment of the speech community and contacts with speakers of other
languages. The book introduces research done in VARIENG, the Research Unit
for Variation, Contacts and Change in English, at the University of Helsinki.