"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.
Although the grammatical expression of reciprocal (or ‘mutual’) situations
in the languages of the world has received a surprising amount of attention
in recent years, so far no comprehensive study specifically dealing with
the historical development and synchronic structure of English reciprocal
constructions has been published. This book takes into consideration
insights from the three major research projects on reciprocity in the
languages of the world as well as the rich literature on more specific
aspects of reciprocity. Assuming a usage-based model of grammar, the
development of the reciprocal strategies used in present-day English is
described, with special attention paid to the periods following Middle
English, where today’s system began to take shape. The means of expressing
reciprocity in today’s English (e.g. the expressions each other and one
another) are then analyzed as a system of competing constructions, the
make-up and distribution of which can be related both to their history and
subtle distinctions in meaning and use associated with the different
constructions. Quantitative data from corpora of natural language provides
evidence for the analyses put forward. Wherever possible, claims on the
expression of reciprocity in present-day English are checked against what
is known about the grammar of reciprocity in other languages.