"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 book offers a combined discussion of the main theoretical, methodological and application issues related to corpus work. Thus, starting from the definition of what is a corpus and why reading a corpus calls for a different methodology from reading a text, the underlying assumptions behind corpus work are discussed. The two main approaches to corpus work are discussed as the "corpus-based" and the "corpus-driven" approach and the theoretical positions underlying them explored in detail. The book adopts and exemplifies the parameters of the corpus-driven approach and posits a new unit of linguistic description defined systematically in the light of corpus evidence. The applications where the corpus-driven approach is exemplified are language teaching and contrastive linguistics. Alternating between practical examples and theoretical evaluation, the reader is led step-by-step to a detailed understanding of the issues involved in corpus work and, at the same time, tempted to explore for himself some of the major applications where a corpus-driven methodology can reveal unprecedented insights into linguistic patterning.