"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 Progressive in Modern English
A Corpus-Based Study of Grammaticalization and Related Changes
This book constitutes the first full-length diachronic treatment of the
English progressive from Old English to Present-day English, focusing on
the crucial phase of its grammaticalization between the 17th and 20th
centuries. It uses data from the British component of ARCHER-2 (A
Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers, version 2) to
uncover the details of this long-term grammaticalization process, tracing
the development of the construction from a stylistic device to a
fully-fledged aspect marker. Illustrated by a wealth of examples, the work
offers new results concerning the preferred linguistic environments and the
development of the functions of the progressive. In contrast to previous
studies, the author shows that there are certain restrictions to context
expansion in grammaticalization. She argues convincingly that the
persistent reluctance of the progressive to occur in certain contexts does
not point to incomplete grammaticalization, but can instead be explained as
a product of its particular functions. The author also challenges the tenet
that grammaticalization is generally accompanied by subjectification.