"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.
Individual effects in variation analysis: Model, software, and research design
Individual-level variation is a recurrent issue in variationist sociolinguistics. One current approach recommends addressing this via mixed-effects modeling. This paper shows that a closely related model with fixed effects for individual speakers can be directly estimated using Goldvarb. The consequences of employing different approaches to speaker variation are explored by using different model selection criteria. We conclude by discussing the relation of the statistical model to the assumptions of the research design, pointing out that nonrandom selection of speakers potentially violates the assumptions of models with random effects for speaker, and suggesting that a model with fixed effects for speakers may be a better alternative in these cases.