"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.
On Apologising in Negative and Positive Politeness Cultures
This book investigates how speakers of English, Polish and Russian deal
with offensive situations. It reveals culture-specific perceptions of what
counts as an apology and what constitutes politeness. It offers a critical
discussion of Brown and Levinson's theory and provides counter-evidence to
the correlation between indirectness and politeness underlying their
theory. Their theory is applied to two languages that rely less heavily on
indirectness in conveying politeness than does English, and to a speech act
that does not become more polite through indirectness. An analysis of the
face considerations involved in apologising shows that in contrast to
disarming apologies, remedial apologies are mainly directed towards
positive face needs, which are crucial for the restoration of social
equilibrium and maintenance of relationships. The data show that while
English apologies are characterised by a relatively strong focus on both
interlocutors' negative face, Polish apologies display a particular concern
for positive face. For Russian speakers, in contrast, apologies seem to
involve a lower degree of face threat than they do in the other two languages.