"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.
I have just come across a construction in Spanish which I had never seen before. The very well read native speaker who gave it to me assures me it is unusual but correct. It is:
"Se le habiamos olvidado", in the sense of "(Ella) se habia olvidado de nosotros".
As a fluent, non-native speaker of Spanish, I immediately judged this to be ungrammatical, but my informant insists it is acceptable, though very unusual. I should like to know the opinion of other native speakers on the Linguist list. If you find it acceptable, please suggest how it should be analysed, e.g. whether the verb is 1st person plural or 3rd person singular + a suffixed pronoun "-mos".
I will post a summary if the results are worthwhile.