"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.
One of the most important factors in language change is synchronic variation due to social differences including gender-specific language use. The papers in the present volume all address this topic in connection with the history of English. They range from Chaucer's and Shakespeare's forms of address to questions of political correctness today; they also include the discussion of attitudes to regional variation and of the influence of social variation on syntax and phonology as well as the role of standardization in a social context.