"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 Dialect Laboratory
Dialects as a testing ground for theories of language change
Much theorizing in language change research is made without taking into account dialect data. Yet, dialects seem to be superior data to build a theory of linguistic change on, since dialects are relatively free of standardization and therefore more tolerant of variant competition in grammar. In addition, as compared to most cross-linguistic and diachronic data, dialect data are unusually high in resolution. This book shows that the study of dialect variation has indeed the potential, perhaps even the duty, to play a central role in the process of finding answers to fundamental questions of theoretical historical linguistics. It includes contributions which relate a clearly formulated theoretical question of historical linguistic interest with a well-defined, solid empirical base.
The volume discusses phenomena from different domains of grammar (phonology, morphology and syntax) and a wide variety of languages and language varieties in the light of several current theoretical frameworks.