"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.
Versuch einer Allegemeinen Sprachlehre
Mit einer Einleitung über den Begriff und Ursprung der Sprache und einem Anhange über die Anwendung der allgemeinen Sprachlehre auf die Grammatik einzelner Sprachen und auf die Pasigraphie
Johann Severin Vater (1771–1826) was professor of theology and Oriental
languages at Halle, but his linguistic interests ranged far more widely. This 1801
publication is the thirty-year-old scholar's ambitious attempt to outline a
universal theory of language. Vater begins with a short definition of language,
and two chapters speculating on the origins of human language and
mechanisms for language change. These theoretical chapters, Vater says, were
intended to be accessible to students making the transition from classics to
philosophy. Vater then proposes the possibility of an overarching theory that
could accommodate the different sounds, structures and vocabularies used to
encode language functions, and which could be used by scholars to describe
the grammar of different languages. He goes a stage further in suggesting that
this could be the basis of a universal language. The book ends with a
fascinating bibliography of early modern writings on language.