"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.
Anne Fernald, in 'Human maternal vocalizations to infants as biologically relevant signals: An evolutionary perspective. In Language Acquisition: : Core Readings, Paul Bloom (ed.). 1996 Cambridge MA: MIT Press. Reprinted from Barkow et al, 1992, The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. suggests some universals in terms of prosodic patterns in speech directed to infants. I was wondering if anyone knows of any further work done in this area, and in particular, if there has been any investigation of this in some of the cultures (like Samoan, Quiche Mayan or working class African-Americans) where it has been claimed that little or no speech is directed at infants.
Fay Wouk Senior Lecturer in Linguistics Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics University of Auckland Private Bag 92019 Auckland New Zealand email@example.com