"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 trouble with inflection for adult learners of Dutch
A study of the L1-L2 interplay of morphosyntactic and phonetic-phonological factors
Children seem to acquire their mother tongue usually without special effort, though this cannot be said of adults acquiring a new language. More particularly, adult L2 learners have difficulties in the realisation of (ad)nominal and verbal inflection. The question as to why adult L2 learners of Dutch have these difficulties is the topic of this book. Traditionally, morphosyntactic explanations have been given to clarify the difficulties L2 learners have in acquiring L2 inflectional morphology. Here , it is claimed that morphosyntactic accounts alone cannot explain all problems L2 learners have in acquiring inflectional morphology. Phonetic-phonological constraints should be taken into account as well. To investigate this claim, a corpus study was done and two processing experiments were conducted to test lower-educated Turkish, Moroccan Arabic and Mandarin Chinese learners of Dutch on their command of Dutch inflectional morphology. The use of both production and perception data, the systematic incorporation of different L1 backgrounds and L2 proficiency levels and the large number of participants included make the design of this study truly unique. This study is of interest to scholars working in the field of L2 acquisition, inflectional morphology, phonology, and morphosyntax as well as to educators working with L2 learners. It shows that the acquisition of inflectional morphology in a second language comprises more than applying a grammatical rule. Accurate perception and production of the phonemes serving as morphemes are of crucial importance as well.