"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.
Change of Object Expression in the History of French
This comprehensive case study of a systematic shift in object expression provides valuable insight into the construal of certain two-place activity verbs in the history of French and how a change in the prepositional system can have dramatic effects on the way their object is realised.
The book focuses on nineteen verbs of helping and hindering whose single internal object shifts from indirect to direct object during the 15th and 16th centuries, describing how these verbs are distinguished from all other verbs in French taking indirect objects and answering why their indirect object was the target of change. Troberg draws on cross-linguistic facts and offers a richly detailed qualitative and quantitative examination of the data to show that contrary to previous approaches to the problem, the shift was not random or a result of low-level analogical changes, but rather that it was decisively systematic and thus unified.
An important outcome of the study links the shift in object expression to other changes in the grammar at the end of the Middle French period. The author argues that the loss of the syntactically derived “Path” meaning, available to simple prepositions in the earlier stages of French, entails not only the shift in object expression, but also the loss of a number of resultative secondary predicates at the same time.