"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.
A diachronic account of phonological unnaturalness
Norwegian retroflexion exhibits some phonetic properties that do not seem to ‘make sense’. In Standard East Norwegian, an alveolar /ɾ/ causes a following alveolar coronal to become postalveolar, and in the Frogner and Arendal dialects of Norwegian, the same postalveolarisation process is triggered by a uvular /ʁ/. Comparative analyses of Norwegian dialects reveal that these properties are the results of historical changes and phonological diffusion across dialects. Theories attempting to analyse Norwegian retroflexion as phonetically ‘natural’ can neither fully account for these properties of Norwegian retroflexion nor capture the typological generalisations found across Norwegian dialects.