"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.
Constructional Change in English
Developments in Allomorphy, Word Formation, and Syntax
Martin Hilpert combines construction grammar and advanced corpus-based methodology into a new way of studying language change. Constructions are generalizations over remembered exemplars of language use. These exemplars are stored with all their formal and functional properties, yielding constructional generalizations that contain many parameters of variation. Over time, as patterns of language use are changing, the generalizations are changing with them. This book illustrates the workings of constructional change with three corpus-based studies that reveal patterns of change at several levels of linguistic structure, ranging from allomorphy to word formation and to syntax. Taken together, the results strongly motivate the use of construction grammar in research on diachronic language change. This new perspective has wide-ranging consequences for the way historical linguists think about language change. It will be of particular interest to linguists working on morpho-syntax, sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics.
2. Data and methodology
3. Constructional change in allomorphy
4. Constructional change in word formation
5. Constructional change in syntax