"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.
Word-Order Change as a Source of Grammaticalisation
This book presents a new perspective on the interaction between word-order
and grammaticalisation by investigating the changes that stylistic fronting
and oblique subjects have undergone in Romance (Catalan, French, Spanish)
as compared to Germanic (English, Icelandic). It discusses a great deal of
historical comparative data showing that stylistic fronting and oblique
subjects have (had) a semantic effect in the Germanic and in the Romance
languages, and that they both appear in the same functional category. The
loss of stylistic fronting and oblique subjects is seen as an effect of
grammaticalisation, where grammaticalisation is taken to be a regular case
of parameter change. In contrast to previous and recent approaches to
grammaticalisation, however, the author shows that it is not the loss of
morphology that triggers grammaticalisation with subsequent word-order
changes, but that the word-order change sets off grammaticalisation in the
functional categories, which is then followed by the loss of morphology.