"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.
Studies on the emergence and evolution of human communication
In the early twentieth century, Ferdinand de Saussure envisioned "a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life". About a century later, a science has emerged that is very much in the spirit of that envisioned by de Saussure. Researchers who are developing this science, which has been labeled Experimental Semiotics, conduct controlled studies in which human adults develop novel communication systems or impose novel structure on systems provided to them. This volume offers a primer to Experimental Semiotics and presents a set of studies conducted within this new discipline. The volume is an ideal text complement for an advanced graduate seminar and it will be of interest to anyone who wonders how humans assemble and develop new ways to communicate with one another.
Originally published in Interaction Studies 11:1 (2010).