"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.
Over the last twenty years, sociolinguistic research on multilingualism has been
transformed. Two processes have been at work: first, an epistemological shift to
a critical ethnographic approach, which has contributed to a larger turn toward
post-structuralist perspectives on social life. Second, the effects of globalization
—transnational population flows, new communication technologies,
transformations in the political and economic landscape—have sparked
increasing concern about the implications of these changes for our
understanding of the relationship between language and society.
A new sociolinguistics of multilingualism is being forged: one that takes account
of the new communicative order, while retaining a central concern with the
processes in the construction of social difference. The contributors to this
volume have been at the forefront of these epistemological shifts. They write
here about the conceptual and methodological challenges posed by these shifts,
and the profound changes that we are witnessing in the late modern era.