"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.
Temporal Stability of Linguistic Typological Features
This book is about how to measure the relative stabilities of linguistic
typological features. It discusses three alternative methods and tests
their performance by applying them to simulated datasets having preset
stabilities. The best metric is then applied to the data of The World Atlas
of Language Stuctures (Haspelmath et al. 2005) to produce empirical
estimates of stability for 134 features and 445 feature values. The
numerical results concur with many specific categorical statements in the
typological literature, and also substantiate the general suggestion that
stable features are more strongly interrelated than are unstable features.
The results also show that features have approximately the same relative
rates of change in different languages, even in widely separated
geographical areas. Surprisingly, however, tendencies for features to
diffuse vary among areas with no consistent differences among features. It
follows that stability and diffusibility are separate dimensions rather
than opposite ends of the same dimension.