"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 many languages, the objects of transitive verbs are either marked by
grammatical case or agreement on the verb, or they remain unmarked: this is
differential object marking. This book is a cross-linguistic study of how
differential object marking is affected by information structure, the structuring of
the utterance in accordance with the informational value of its elements and
contextual factors. Marked objects tend to be associated with old information or
information that the sentence is about, while unmarked objects tend to express
new information. The book also sheds light on grammatical patterning in
languages with differential object marking: in some languages marked and
unmarked objects have identical grammatical properties, whereas in other
languages marked objects are more active in syntax. Finally, it provides a
theory of the historical changes that lead to the emergence of various patterns
of differential object marking.