"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.
Grammaticization, Synchronic Variation, and Language Contact: A study of Spanish progressive -ndo constructions.
This study of Old Spanish and present-day Mexico and New Mexico data develops a grammaticization account of variation in progressive constructions. Diachronic changes in cooccurrence patterns show that grammaticization involves reductive change driven by frequency increases. Formal reduction results in the emergence of auxilliary-plus-gerund sequences as fused units. Semantically, the constructions originate as spatial expressions; their grammaticization involves gradual loss of locative features of meaning. Semantic generalization among parallel evolutionary paths results in the competition among different constructions in the domain of progressive aspect. Patterns of synchronic variation follow from both the retention of meaning differences and the routinization of frequent collocations, as well as sociolinguistic factors. Register considerations turn out to be crucial in evaluating the effects of language contact. Purported changes in Spanish - English bilingual varieties are largely a feature of oral, informal language rather than a manifestation of convergence.