"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.
Information Structure and Syntactic Change in the History of English
"Information Structure and Syntactic Change in the History of English" is the first book to apply information structure as it relates to language change to a corpus-based analysis of a wide range of features in the evolution of English syntax and grammars of prose in long diachrony. Its unifying topic is the role of information structure, broadly conceived, as it interacts with the other levels of linguistic description, syntax, morphology, prosody, semantics and pragmatics. The volume comprises twelve chapters by leading scholars who take a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Their work affirms, among other things, that motivations for selecting a particular syntactic option vary from information structure in the strict sense to discourse organization, or a particular style or register, and can also be associated with external forces such as the development of a literary culture.