"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.
Florian Coulmas, Sociolinguistics: The study of speakers' choices
Florian Coulmas, Sociolinguistics: The study of speakers' choices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Pp. 263. Pb
In his new textbook, Coulmas provides readers an easy introduction to sociolinguistics, using speaker choice as the central notion for discussion. In a comfortable conversational style, the author slowly introduces topics, using common examples to demonstrate how sociolinguists think about language use. He provides summaries of findings of key sociolinguistic studies that illustrate ideas without overloading readers with unnecessary and cumbersome details of those studies. The book is accessible for beginning sociolinguistics students and is equally engaging for those already familiar with sociolinguistic concepts, largely because the author uses such interesting and global research to illustrate ideas.