"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.
Distinguished sociolinguist Peter Trudgill here presents a controversial new theory about dialect contact and the formation of new colonial dialects. He examines the genesis of Latin American Spanish, Canadian French, and North American English and in particular concentrates on Australian, New Zealand, and South African English. These varieties developed during the nineteenth century along with the immigration of settlers from Britain and Ireland.
The novelty of Trudgill's theory is that these new varieties of English were predictable and deterministic according to certain demographic and linguistic principles, and that all these varieties of colonial Englishes are similar to each other because they were formed out of similar mixtures according to the same principles. Trudgill argues no role in colonial dialect development and that the work of dialect formation was carried out by children over a period of two generations.
Trudgill's work represents an exciting new approach to the study of language contact and dialects in its emphasis on the notion of predictability and the important role of children.