"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.
Evolution has not typically been recognised by linguists as a constraining
factor when developing linguistic theories. This book demonstrates that our
theories of language must reflect the fact that language has evolved. It
critiques a currently dominant framework in the field of linguistics - the
Minimalist Program - by showing how it fails to take evolution into
account. It approaches the question of the evolution of human language in a
novel way by applying findings from the field of evolutionary biology to
language. Key properties associated with typically evolving systems are
identified in language, and the shortcomings of the Minimalist Program in
its outright rejection of these features are exposed. The book will be of
interest to individual researchers and advanced students in linguistics,
psychology, biology, anthropology and cognitive science.