"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.
On the origins of urban Wolof: Evidence from Louis Descemet's 1864 phrase book
Based on evidence from a French-Wolof phrase book published in Senegal in 1864, this article makes the case that urban Wolof, a variety of the language characterized by significant lexical borrowing from French, is a much older variety than scholars have generally claimed. Historical evidence suggests that urban Wolof emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries in the coastal island city of Saint-Louis du Sénégal, France's earliest African settlement and future capital of the colonial entity that would be known as French West Africa. The intimate nature of early contact between African and European populations and the later role played by the or mixed-race population of the island as linguistic brokers contributed to a unique, urban variety of Wolof that has important links to today's variety of urban Wolof spoken in Dakar and other cities throughout the country.