"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.
Great strides have been made in recent years in our understanding of the
relationship between language and society when we introduce a consideration
of its historical dimension. "The Handbook of Historical Sociolinguistics"
reflects our current state of knowledge in this rapidly expanding
interdisciplinary field of study. The collection represents an up-to-date,
in-depth exploration of the extent to which sociolinguistic theoretical
models, methods, findings, and expertise can be applied to the process of
reconstructing a language's past in order to account for diachronic
linguistic changes and developments. Organized into five distinct
sections, essays address various topics in origins and theoretical
assumptions; methods for the sociolinguistic study of the history of
languages; linguistic and extra-linguistic variables; historical
dialectology, language contact and diffusion; and attitudes to language.
Written by an international team of leading scholars, this groundbreaking
collection of readings provides an important contribution to linguistic
theory that reflects current knowledge of the nature of language change and
diffusion while paving the way for future research.