"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.
This book presents for the first time an in-depth historical account of vowel prosthesis in the Romance languages. Vowel prosthesis is a change which involves the appearance of a non-etymological vowel at the beginning of a word: a familiar example is the initial e which appears in the development of Latin sperare to Spanish esperar and French espérer ‘to hope’. Despite its widespread incidence in the Romance languages, it has remained poorly studied. In his wide-ranging comparative coverage, Professor Sampson identifies three main categories of vowel prosthesis that have occurred and explores in detail their historical trajectory and the relationship between them. The presentation draws freely throughout on the rich philological materials available from Romance and brings to light various unexpected changes in the productive use of prosthesis through time. For example in French and Italian (which is Tuscan-based), one category of prosthesis became well established in the early Middle Ages only to lose productivity and subsequently become moribund. With its extensive use of empirical data and findings from theoretical linguistics, the book offers a thorough and revealing account of a fascinating chapter in the phonological history of Romance.