"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.
There are more than six thousand human languages, each one unique. For the
last five hundred years, people have argued about how important language
differences are. This book traces that history and shows how language
differences have generally been treated either as of no importance or as all-
important, depending on broader approaches taken to human life and knowledge.
It was only in the twentieth century, in the work of Franz Boas and his students,
that an attempt was made to engage seriously with the reality of language
specificities. Since the 1950s, this work has been largely presented as yet
another claim that language differences are all-important by cognitive scientists
and philosophers who believe that such differences are of no importance. This
book seeks to correct this misrepresentation and point to the new directions
taken by the Boasians, directions now being recovered in the most recent work
in psychology and linguistics.