"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 remarkable book builds on Chomsky's key insight that language provides an inbuilt key to our identity as a symbol using species. To the role of grammar as a cognitive tool enabling us to construct 'selves', Nair adds a second tool in the realm of discourse: narrative. She has a wonderfully subtle account of the psychology of narrative as a 'species of natural theory'. Nair's work is not yet very well known in the United States but I anticipate that with this book she will be recognized as a major figure."--Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University "Nair's brilliant study of narrative combines anthropological and sociolinguistic perspectives with cognitive ones to bring out the magical impulses that animate this genre."--Michael J. Toolan, University of Birmingham, author of Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Introduction