"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.
Language demonstrates structure while also showing considerable variation
at all levels: languages differ from one another while still being shaped
by the same principles; utterances within a language differ from one
another while exhibiting the same structural patterns; languages change
over time, but in fairly regular ways. This book focuses on the dynamic
processes that create languages and give them their structure and variance.
It outlines a theory of language that addresses the nature of grammar,
taking into account its variance and gradience, and seeks explanation in
terms of the recurrent processes that operate in language use. The evidence
is based on the study of large corpora of spoken and written language, what
we know about how languages change, as well as the results of experiments
with language users. The result is an integrated theory of language use and
language change which has implications for cognitive processing and