"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.
Most African languages are spoken by communities as one of several languages present on a daily basis. The persistence of multilingualism and the linguistic creativity manifest in the playful use of different languages are striking, especially against the backdrop of language death and expanding monolingualism elsewhere in the world. The effortless mastery of several languages is disturbing, however, for those who take essentialist perspectives that see it as a problem rather than a resource, and for the dominating, conflictual, sociolinguistic model of multilingualism. This volume investigates African minority languages in the context of changing patterns of multilingualism, and also assesses the status of African languages in terms of existing influential vitality scales. An important aspect of multilingual praxis is the speakers' agency in making choices, their repertoires of registers and the multiplicity of language ideology associated with different ways of speaking. The volume represents a new and original contribution to the ethnography of speaking of multilingual practices and the cultural ideas associated with them.