"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.
Possession and Ownership brings together linguists and anthropologists in a series of cross-linguistic explorations of expressions used to denote possession and ownership, concepts central to most if not all the varied cultures and ideologies of humankind. Possessive noun phrases can be broadly divided into three categories - ownership of property, whole-part relations (such as body and plant parts), and blood and affinal kinship relations. As Professor Aikhenvald shows in her extensive opening essay, the same possessive noun or pronoun phrase is used in English and in many other Indo-European languages to express possession of all three kinds - as in "Ann and her husband Henry live in the castle Henry's father built with his own hands" - but that this is by no means the case in all languages. In some, for example, the grammar expresses the inalienability of consanguineal kinship and sometimes also of sacred or treasured objects. Furthermore the degree to which possession and ownership are conceived as the same (when possession is 100% of the law) differs from one society to another, and this may be reflected in their linguistic expression. Like others in the series this pioneering book will be welcomed equally by linguists and anthropologists.