"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.
The volume deals with previously undescribed morphosyntactic variations and
changes appearing in settings involving language contact. Contact-induced
changes are defined as dynamic and multiple, involving internal change as
well as historical and sociolinguistic factors. A variety of explanations
are identified and their relationships are analyzed. Only a multifaceted
methodology enables this fine-grained approach to contact-induced change. A
range of methodologies are proposed, but the chapters generally have their
roots in a typological perspective. The contributors recognize the
precautionary principle: for example, they emphasize the difficulty of
studying languages that have not been described adequately and for which
diachronic data are not extensive or reliable.
Three main perspectives on contact-induced language change are presented.
The first explores the role of multilingual speakers in contact-induced
language change, especially their spontaneous innovations in discourse. The
second explores the differences between ordinary contact-induced change and
change in endangered languages. The third discusses various aspects of the
relationship between contact-induced change and internal change.