"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.
In the first part of the study, an overview over Upper Silesia and the numerous historical language shifts in this area is given. With at least five language shifts and three phases of complete language loss, Upper Silesia constitutes quite an illustrative case for loss and maintenance in a region. In part two, a conceptualisation of language shift is presented. Two approaches to language shift are then developed, the processual and the correlative. The latter emphasises the competence dimension, divided into an analysis of one language only, German, and an analysis of languages as components of multilingual profiles. Part three presents examples of analyses of isolated German, using the correlative approach. The results in both domains show that German is tied to an urban milieu and has a dominant function as a professional language with high prestige. Part 4 demonstrates the use of multilingual profiles, now from a processual perspective. The analyses show a clear consolidation of Polish with an as yet undecided competition between Upper Silesian and German as second languages. The tendency in the direction of the trilingual profile German/Polish/Upper Silesian seems to have a future if the domains of use stabilise.