"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.
Question - personal pronouns which change with temporal reference
I recently read an article about self and personhood in various cultures, which states that "there are languages, such as Iaca (New Caledonia), which have sets of [personal] pronouns marked for different tenses, contradicting Western notions of physical continuity [of the self]".
I can't find any mention on the web of a language called Iaca; however, his point may well still be true. Can anyone tell me an example of a language which shows the grammatical characteristic which he describes?
Thanks for any leads, David Palfreyman Zayed University, Dubai.