"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.
Among the most prolifically treated topics in grammaticalization approaches to semantic change is the development of periphrastic past constructions, particularly the 'have'-perfects in Romance and other Indo-European languages. This issue is an intriguing one for language researchers since it offers the opportunity to observe language change both as an incipient process that involves the transition of some lexical element into a more 'grammatical' role as well as a process of semantic generalization without the necessity of overt structural reorganization. This book explores the development of the periphrastic past (or pretérito perfecto compuesto) in Spanish, with special attention to its cross-dialectal distribution vis-à-vis the simple perfective past (or pretérito), and assumes a multi-disciplinary perspective, drawing on insights from semantic and pragmatic as well as sociolinguistic approaches to language change. The resulting proposals, developed on the basis of spoken language data from cross-dialectal samples of Spanish, address the nature of language change and the variable forces that shape it.