"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.
Social Structure, Space and Possession in Tongan Culture and Language
This interdisciplinary study investigates the relationship between culture,
language and cognition based on the aspects of social structure, space and
possession in Tonga, Polynesia. Grounded on extensive field research,
Völkel explores the subject from an anthropological as well as from a
linguistic perspective. The book provides new insights into the language of
respect, an honorific system which is deeply anchored in the societal
hierarchy, spatial descriptions that are determined by socio-cultural and
geocentric parameters, kinship terminology and possessive categories that
perfectly express the system of social status inequalities among relatives.
These examples impressively show that language is deeply anchored in its
cultural context. Moreover, the linguistic structures reflect the underlying
cognitive frame of its speakers. Just as several cultural practices (sitting
order, access to land and gift exchange processes) the linguistic means are
not only expressions of stratified social networks but also tools to
negotiate the underlying socio-cultural system.