"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.
This investigation contributes to issues in the study of second language transmission by considering the well-documented historical case of Anglo-Norman. Within a few generations of the establishment of this variety, its phonology diverged sharply from that of continental French, yet core syntactic distinctions continued to be reliably transmitted. The dissociation of phonology from syntax transmission is related to the age of exposure to the language in the experience of ordinary users of the language. The input provided to children acquiring language in a naturalistic communicative setting, even though one of a school institution, enabled them to acquire target-like syntactic properties of the inherited variety. In addition, it allowed change to take place along the lines of transmission by incrementation. A linguistic environment combining the ‘here-and-now’ aspects of ordinary first language acquisition with the growing cognitive complexity of an educational meta-language appears to have been adequate for this variety to be transmitted as a viable entity that encoded the public life of England for centuries.