"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.
“And he knew our language”
Missionary Linguistics on the Pacific Northwest Coast
Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 116
This ambitious and ground-breaking book examines the linguistic studies
produced by missionaries based on the Pacific Northwest Coast of North
America (and particularly Haida Gwaii) during the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. Making extensive use of unpublished archival materials,
the author demonstrates that the missionaries were responsible for
introducing many innovative and insightful grammatical analyses. Rather than
merely adopting Graeco-Roman models, they drew extensively upon studies
of non-European languages, and a careful exploration of their scripture
translations reveal the origins of the Haida sociolect that emerged as a
result of the missionary activity. The complex interactions between the
missionaries and anthropologists are also discussed, and it is shown that the
former sometimes anticipated linguistic analyses that are now incorrectly
attributed to the latter. Since this book draws upon recent work in
theoretical linguistics, religious history, translation studies, and
anthropology, it emphasises the unavoidably interdisciplinary nature of
Missionary Linguistics research.