"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.
Linking Elements in Compounds
Regional Variation in Speech Production and Perception
Words like noot+en+kraker (‘nutcracker’) and pan+en+koek (‘pancake’) contain a linking element en in between the two parts of the compound. In Dutch, this linking en is most often homographic with the regular plural suffix –en (noot+en ‘nuts’ - noot+en+kraker ‘nutcracker’). This dissertation investigates whether the linking element en in spoken Dutch compounds is similar to the plural suffix -en. The psycholinguistic studies reported here investigate the pronunciations of the linking en and the plural suffix -en for Dutch speakers from five different regions of the Netherlands, and for Frisian-Dutch bilinguals from two regions of Friesland. Second, the studies reported here investigate whether speakers of standard Dutch and speakers from different regions of the Netherlands interpret subtle speech variants of linking en as a plural marker. This dissertation reveals clear regional pronunciation variation of the linking en in compounds for Dutch speakers. Moreover, the speech variants of Dutch linking en are most often interpreted as plural forms. This study is of interest to scholars interested in linguistics, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics. It shows the diversity of language: Regional variation exists in the pronunciation and interpretation of linking elements in Dutch compounds. This implicates that speakers from different, although closely related linguistic backgrounds arrive at subtly different interpretations in everyday speech.