"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.
In John McWhorter’s Defining Creole anthology of 2005, his collected articles
conveyed the following theme: His hypothesis that creole languages are
definable not just in the sociohistorical sense, but in the grammatical sense. His
publications since the 1990s have argued that all languages of the world that
lack a certain three traits together are creoles (i.e. born as pidgins a few
hundred years ago and fleshed out into real languages). He also argued that in
light of their pidgin birth, such languages are less grammatically complex than
others, as the result of their recent birth as pidgins. These two claims have
been highly controversial among creolists as well as other linguists.
In this volume, Linguistic Simplicity and Complexity, McWhorter gathers articles
he has written since then, in the wake of responses from a wide range of
creolists and linguists. These articles represent a considerable divergence in
direction from his earlier work.