"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.
The Discovery of Spoken Language
The ability to distinguish words within an apparently continuous stream of speech is a crucial step for infants in learning to speak themselves. This book examines the initial capacities that infants possess for discriminating and categorizing speech sounds and how these capacities evolve as infants gain experience with native language input. Attention is paid to the ways that speech perception capacities develop in very young children. Jusczyk also looks at how infants' growing knowledge of native language sound patterns may facilitate the acquisition of other aspects of language organization, and he discusses the relationship between the learner's developing capacities for perceiving and producing speech. One of the first efforts to integrate the field of infant speech perception research into the general study of language acquisition, the book fills in a key part of the acquisition story by providing an extensive review of research on the acquisition of language during the first year of life, focusing primarily on how normally developing infants learn the organization of native language sound patterns. An appendix reviews the test procedures used to evaluate infant speech perception capacities.