"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.
Grammaticalization and lexicalization are at the heart of first language
acquisition. Understanding how these processes begin and evolve is a major
challenge for current theories and has implications for applications in teaching or
clinical contexts. This volume examines the relative weight of cognitive and
linguistic determinants of acquisition with particular attention to two questions.
The first one concerns the origins of grammar and the processes underlying its
development. Is grammatical knowledge innate or constructed by the child? Is it
modular or does it interact with other capacities? How can we account for
continuity and discontinuity in development? What is the role of input? Second,
considerable variation is observed in lexical and grammatical development
across child languages. Is the process of acquisition similar in all children or do
language-specific factors impact its rhythm and course? Do typological factors
determine children’s reliance on lexical or grammatical means of expression in
some domains? Originally published in Language, Interaction and Acquisition -
Langage, Interaction et Acquisition 2:1 (2011).