"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.
Comparative linguistics and grammaticalization theory both belong to the broader category of historical linguistics, yet few linguists practice both. The methods and goals of each group seem largely distinct: comparative linguists have by and large avoided reconstructing grammar, while grammaticalization theoreticians have either focused on explaining attested historical change or used internal reconstruction to formulate hypotheses about processes of change. In this collection, some of the leading voices in grammaticalization theory apply their methods to comparative data (largely drawn from indigenous languages of the Americas), showing not only that grammar can be reconstructed, but that the process of reconstructing grammar can yield interesting theoretical and typological insights.