"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.
Recent years have seen intense debates between formal (generative) and
functional linguists, particularly with respect to the relation between
grammar and usage. This debate is directly relevant to diachronic
linguistics, where one and the same phenomenon of language change can be
explained from various theoretical perspectives. In this, a close look at
the divergent and/or convergent evolution of a richly documented language
family such as Romance promises to be useful. The basic problem for any
approach to language change is what Eugenio Coseriu has termed the
paradox of change: if synchronically, languages can be viewed as
perfectly running systems, then there is no reason why they should change
in the first place. And yet, as everyone knows, languages are changing
constantly. In nine case studies, a number of renowned scholars of Romance
linguistics address the explanation of grammatical change either within a
broadly generative or a functional framework.