"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.
The authors examine how linguistic variation and change in the major French-
speaking countries of Europe - France, Belgium and Switzerland - has in recent
times reflected social convergence or 'levelling'. Linguistic levelling, which
results in fewer differences between social and regional accents and diminishes
the prestige of the standard language, is seen very clearly in a country like the
UK, where social differences are revealed in urban accents, or have been until
recently. Levelling reflects social change, and the change of interest here is a
sort of informalisation that has accelerated since the 1960s, with stress on the
values of youth and the erosion of hierarchies and deference. An in-depth
examination of how levelling is proceeding in the francophone area compared to
other European countries has until now been lacking. This book provides a
detailed account of recent social and linguistic change in European French,
drawing on the latest findings.