"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 chapters in this edited volume explore the sociolinguistic implications of
orthographic and scriptural practices in a diverse range of communicative
contexts, ranging from schoolrooms to internet discussion boards. The focus
is on the way that scriptural practices both index and constitute social
hierarchies, identities and relationships and in some cases, become the
focus for public language ideological debates. Capitalizing on the now robust
body of literature on orthographic choice and debate in sociolinguistics and
anthropological linguistics, the volume addresses a number of cross-cutting
themes that connect orthographic practices to areas of contemporary interest
in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. These themes include: the
different social implications of self vs. other representation and the
permeability of the personal/social and the public/private; how scriptural
practices ("inscription") serve as sites for social discipline; the historical and
intertextual frameworks for the meaning potentials of orthographic choice
(relating to issues of genre and style); and writing as a broader semiotic field:
the visual and esthetic dimensions of texts and metalinguistic "play" in
spelling and its ambiguous implications for writer stance.