"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.
Talking about writing: What we can learn from conversations between parents and their young children
In six analyses using the Child Language Data Exchange System known as CHILDES, we explored whether and how parents and their 1.5- to 5-year-old children talk about writing. Parent speech might include information about the similarity between print and speech and about the difference between writing and drawing. Parents could convey similarity between print and speech by using the words say, name, and word to refer to both spoken and written language. Parents could differentiate writing and drawing by making syntactic and semantic distinctions in their discussion of the two symbol systems. Our results indicate that parent speech includes these types of information. However, young children themselves sometimes confuse writing and drawing in their speech.