"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.
Second language acquisition and first language attrition of Spanish subject realization and word order variation
By combining theoretical analysis and empirical investigation, this monograph investigates the status of interfaces in Minimalist linguistic theory, second language acquisition and native language attrition. Two major questions are currently under debate: (1) what exactly makes a linguistic phenomenon an ‘interface phenomenon’, and (2) what is the specific role that the interfaces play in explaining language loss and persistent problems in second language acquisition? Answers to these questions are provided by a theoretical examination of the role that economy and computational efficiency play in recent Minimalist models of the language faculty, as well as by evidence obtained in two empirical studies examining the acquisition and attrition of two interface phenomena: Spanish subject realization and word order variation. The result is a new definition of ‘interface phenomena’ which deemphasizes syntactic complexity and focuses on the effect of interface interpretive conditions on syntactic structure. This work also shows that representational deficits cannot be ruled out in the acquisition and attrition of interface structures.