"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.
Nowadays, linguists do not question the existence of synchronic variation,
and the dichotomy between synchrony and diachrony. They recognize that
synchrony can be motivated regionally (diatopic variation), sociolinguistically
(diastratic variation), or stylistically (diaphasic variation). But, further, they
can also recognize the hybrid nature of synchrony, which is referred to as
"dynamic synchrony." This conception of synchrony assumes that similar
patterns of usage can coexist in a community during a certain period and that
their mutual relations are not static but conflicting enough to result in a future
systematic change through symptomatic synchronic variation. Emergence of
a large corpus of written texts for some languages has enabled quantitative
as well as qualitative analyses of the synchronic conditions for diachronic
changes, over both long and short spans of time. Most of the 14 papers in
this volume represent studies on synchronic and diachronic variations based
on such corpus data.
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