"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.
In the case of an unknown language the first requisite of scientific decipherment is the absence of philological theory. When we have satisfactorily deciphered the language we can compare it with other languages and determine its philological connexions, but the decipherment must come first. […] As far back as 1907, in my article on the “Cuneiform Tablet from Yuzgat”, I had already sketched the outlines of the nominal declension and verbal conjugation in Hittite and identified the chief personal and demonstrative pronouns.
But my materials were scanty, consisting only of the mutilated “Yuzgat” tablet and the two Arzawan letters, and my sketch of the grammar can now be enlarged and corrected (adapted from the introductory chapter). (re-edition. Originally published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1925. Written in English).