History of Language

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1999 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 240 p. Globalities. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Steven Roger Fischer's book charts the history of communication from the time before human language was conceived through to the media explosion of the present day. Describing modes of communication between whales, birds, insects and primates and suggesting the first contexts in which the concept of 'language' might be applied, Fischer moves from the early abilities of Homo erectus to the spread of languages worldwide, analyzing the effect of the development of writing along the way. Finally, touching on the effects of radio, television, propaganda and advertising, Fischer looks to the future, asking how electronic media are daily reshaping the world's languages and suggesting a radical reinterpretation of what language really is.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861890511
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Series: Reaktion Books - Globalities Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Steven Roger Fischer is Director of the Institute of Polynesian Languages and Literatures in Auckland, New Zealand. He is the author of Glyph-breaker (1997). A History of Language is part of Fischer’s trilogy for Reaktion, which also includes A History of Writing and A History of Reading.
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Table of Contents

Preface 7
1 Animal Communication and 'Language' 11
2 Talking Apes 35
3 First Families 60
4 Written Language 86
5 Lineages 112
6 Towards a Science of Language 139
7 Society and Language 172
8 Future Indicative 204
References 221
Select Bibliography 232
Index 236
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