"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.
Apparent-time evolution of /l/ in one African American community
In the wake of numerous analyses of vowels in African American English (AAE), this study examines acoustically the phonetic production of a consonant-the word-initial lateral /l/-across several generations of speakers from a long-standing African American community in central North Carolina. The results of the study show that /l/ is darker in younger AAE speakers than in older ones, independent of phonetic context. Comparisons with ex-slave recordings suggest that a light variant of /l/ may be a substrate feature of AAE that has changed in recent decades. Additional comparisons with regional European Americans suggest that the darkening may be due to convergence with majority American English dialects.