"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.
Dialectological and Folk Dialectological Concepts of Space
Current Methods and Perspectives in Sociolinguistic Research on Dialect Change
In variational linguistics, the concept of space has always been a central issue. However, different research traditions considering space coexisted for a long time separately. Traditional dialectology focused primarily on the diatopic dimension of linguistic variation, whereas in sociolinguistic studies diastratic and diaphasic dimensions were considered. For a long time only very few linguistic investigations tried to combine both research traditions in a two-dimensional design – a desideratum which is meant to be compensated by the contributions of this volume. The articles present findings from empirical studies which take on these different concepts and examine how they relate to one another. Besides dialectological and sociolinguistic concepts also a lay perspective of linguistic space is considered, a paradigm that is often referred to as “folk dialectology”. Many of the studies in this volume make use of new computational possibilities of processing and cartographically representing large corpora of linguistic data. The empirical studies incorporate findings from different linguistic communities in Europe and pursue the objective to shed light on the inter-relationship between the different concepts of space and their relevance to variational linguistics.