"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.
Significant new developments in brain activity research have revived the debate on the universality of language and its neural basis. Within this debate, the question of language diversity and its implications for cognition remains central and controversial. It is here investigated in an original multimodal approach, covering various aspects of cross-linguistic variation, differences between spoken, signed and drum languages, between normal speech and pathological speech, and also between language and music, as revealed in electric brain activity associated with language processing. The various contributions (linguistic, anthropological, psychological and neurophysical) on the nature and status of variation and invariants in language provides evidence for complex interactions between language-specific processes and general cognitive faculties. This overview of some recent trends in cognitive linguistics opens up a promising new research area in the humanities as well as in the cognitive sciences.