"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.
Isolation and Language Change
Contemporary and Sociohistorical Evidence From Tristan da Cunha English
Extremely isolated communities offer 'laboratory conditions' for examining the processes of language change and dialect formation. This book presents findings of the first-ever ethnographic fieldwork on the most remote island in the world with a permanent population, Tristan da Cunha. It documents the historical formation of a unique local dialect and investigates the sociolinguistic mechanisms that underlie dialect contact and new-dialect formation. It also uncovers the linguistic consequences of post-insularity - language change processes as a result of increasing contacts with other communities and speakers. Researchers and students of language variation will find this book a unique resource.
1 Large number of linguists interested in empirical studies of language variation/dialectology as basic to all sociolinguistic and historical linguistics training 2 Unique data: the first-ever ethnographic fieldwork in this community, so both spoken and written evidence 3 Isolation now recognised in language variationist work as a valuable 'laboratory' for testing theories of dialect formation 4 Both historical and contemporary data
Acknowledgements Introduction Contact, Isolation and Language Change: A Theoretical Framework Tristan da Cunha - Methodology and Fieldwork - Determining Input Interaction Present Tense Concord Categoricality and Homogenisation Present/past be regularisation Dynamism vs Retention Completive done Innovation and Independent Developments useta went Conclusion Notes Appendix: Some Phonetic and Phonological Aspects of Tristan da Cunha English Bibliography Index
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DANIEL SCHREIER is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Regensburg, Germany. He has published extensively on contact linguistics and new-dialect formation and has taught and lectured in Switzerland, the USA and in New Zealand.