"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.
The "one-nation-one-language" assumption is as unrealistic as the well-known Chomskyan ideal of a homogeneous speech community. Linguistic pluricentricity is a common and widespread phenomenon; it can be understood as either differing national standards or differing local norms. The nine studies collected in this volume explore the sociocultural, conceptual and structural dimensions of variation and change within pluricentric languages, with specific emphasis on the relationship between national varieties. They include research undertaken in both the Cognitive Linguistic and socolinguistic tradition, with particular emphasis upon the emerging framework of Cognitive Sociolinguistics. Six languages, all more or less pluricentric, are analyzed: four Germanic languages (English, German, Dutch and Swedish) and two Romance languages (Portuguese and French). The volume describes patterns of phonetic, lexical and morphosyntactic variation, and perception and attitudes in relation to these pluricentric languages. It makes use of advanced empirical methods able to account for the complex interplay between conceptual and social aspects of pluricentric variation and other forms of language-internal variation.