"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.
This book examines the ways in which our ideas about language and identity
which used to be framed in national and political terms as a matter of rights
and citizenship are increasingly recast in economic terms as a matter of
added value. It argues that this discursive shift is connected to specific
characteristics of the globalized new economy in what can be thought of as
"late capitalism". Through ten ethnographic case studies, it demonstrates the
complex ways in which older nationalist ideologies which invest language with
value as a source of pride get bound up with newer neoliberal ideologies
which invest language with value as a source of profit. The complex
interaction between these modes of mobilizing linguistic resources challenges
some of our ideas about globalization, hinting that we are in a period of
intensification of modernity, in which the limits of the nation-State are
stretched, but not (yet) undone. At the same time, this book argues, this
intensification also calls into question modernist ways of looking at language
and identity, requiring a more serious engagement with capitalism and how it
constitutes symbolic (including linguistic) as well as material markets.