"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.
Is Ebonics a dialect or simply bad English? Do Eskimos really have different words for snow? Should the US be an English-only nation? Do women and men speak differently? Will computers ever truly learn human language? Virtually everyone feels they have a strong grip on most of these questions, but as Donna Jo Napoli points out in this short, accessible book, a lot of commonly-held conceptions about language are simply wrong.
Napoli provides an entertaining tour through the world of language, examining these and other vexing and controversial language-related questions. Throughout, she encourages and leads the reader to use common-sense and everyday experience rather than preconceived notions or technical linguistic expertise. Both her questions and her conclusions are surprising, sometimes provocative, and always entertaining. This volume is sure to engage both general readers and students of language and linguistics at any level.