"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.
This work demonstrates that what is commonly called 'preterite decay in Upper German' (PS; cf. German Präteritumschwund) is in fact a phenomenon common to a great number of European languages, all of which are in areal con-tact. However, the conclusion that this is a phenomenon arising under areal influence appears clearly mistaken - not only so because it would no more than postpone the search for the real trigger of this development. It will be shown, first, that the preterite loss in the languages under inspection comes in different states of completion. It will be seen that the loss of the preterite, under this perspective, German is by no means a completed process. Second, and what is more, it will be argued that the trigger for this decay of the synthetic preterite and its replacement by analytic preterite forms is the specific criteria under which oral (as opposed to written) communication is executed. Counter to the rich, existing literature on the topic, a number of parsing principles will be claimed to be responsible for this diachronic development yielding different results due to a different execution of these principles.