Language in Danger: The Loss of Linguistic Diversity and the Threat to Our Future

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $15.95   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$15.95
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(330)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2003 Hardcover Perfectly brand new (gift quality)! ! -ships immediately 231129009. Brand New; 0.95 x 9.66 x 6.22 Inches; 352 pages.

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$22.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
New York 2003 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 352 p. Contains: Maps. Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: BOSTON, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$27.54
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(417)

Condition: New
Gift quality. Clean, unmarked pages. Good binding and cover. Hardcover and dust jacket. Ships daily.

Ships from: Boonsboro, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$39.63
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(23160)

Condition: New
BRAND NEW

Ships from: Avenel, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by

Overview

Every two weeks the world loses another indigenous language. Evolving over hundreds or even thousands of years, distinct languages are highly complex and extremely adaptable, but they are also more fragile and endangered than we might expect. Of the approximately 5,000 languages spoken around the globe today, Andrew Dalby predicts that half will be lost during this century. How will this linguistic extinction affect our lives? Is there a possibility that humanity will become a monolingual species? Should we care?

Language in Danger is an unsettling historical investigation into the disappearance of languages and the consequences that future generations may face. Whether describing the effects of Latin's displacement of native languages in the aftermath of Rome's imperial expansion or the aggressive extermination of hundreds of indigenous North American languages through a brutal policy of forcing Native Americans to learn English, Dalby reveals that linguistic extinction has traditionally occurred as a result of economic inequality, political oppression, and even genocide. Bringing this historical perspective to bear on the uncertain fate of hundreds of pocket cultures-cultures whose languages are endangered by less obvious threats, such as multinational economic forces, immigration, nationalism, and global telecommunications -- Language in Danger speaks out against the progressive silencing of our world's irreplaceable voices.

More than an uncompromising account of the decline of linguistic diversity, Language in Danger explains why humanity must protect its many unique voices. Since all languages represent different ways of perceiving, mapping, and classifying the world, they act as repositories for cultural traditions and localized knowledge. The growing trend toward linguistic standardization -- for example, politically designated national languages -- threatens the existence of more marginalized cultures and ethnic customs, leaving only a few dominant tongues. The resulting languages become less flexible, nuanced, and inventive as they grow increasingly homogenized. Dalby argues that humanity needs linguistic variety not only to communicate, but to sustain and enhance our understanding of the world. People do not simply invent words out of thin air: our creativity and intelligence are, to a significant degree, dependent on other languages and alternate ways of interpreting the world. When languages intermix, they borrow and feed off each other, and this convergence catalyzes the human imagination, making us more intelligent and adaptable beings.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
Provides an engrossing account of both how languages evolve and interact with one another, and of how much is lost when the last speaker of [a language] dies.

— Michael Dirda

Choice

Warning of the loss of linguistic diversity as speakers are assimilated to global languages, Dalby argues that language loss entails an irreplaceable loss of local cultural knowledge... [T]his is a successful presentation of a key argument for preserving linguistic diversity.

The Spectator

Passionate and lucid... the whole book works up to a magnificent final chapter... ardent, dignified, and convincing.

Sunday Telegraph

A wide-ranging and lucid study of how languages die.

Language and Intercultural Communication
Andrew Dalby (2003), as author of Language in Danger provides an interesting account of how languages evolve and interact with one another... The aim to promote awareness for cultural linguistic diversity, regardless of globalisation, can be heard loud and clear.

— Nicholas Alexis Zoffel

Washington Post - Michael Dirda

Provides an engrossing account of both how languages evolve and interact with one another, and of how much is lost when the last speaker of [a language] dies.

Language and Intercultural Communication - Nicholas Alexis Zoffel

Andrew Dalby (2003), as author of Language in Danger provides an interesting account of how languages evolve and interact with one another... The aim to promote awareness for cultural linguistic diversity, regardless of globalisation, can be heard loud and clear.

The Washington Post
There are, concludes Dalby, "three overriding reasons why we need to stop losing languages." First, "we need the knowledge that they preserve and transmit." Second, "we need other languages for the insights they give us into the way things may be -- we need them for those alternative world views." Third, "we need a multiplicity of languages because it is interaction with other languages that keeps our own language flexible and creative." By the end of Language in Danger, most readers will likely agree with Dalby's analysis. — Michael Dirda
Publishers Weekly
Even if short on solutions, this argument about why we should care about the present-day loss of languages is generally convincing. An honorary fellow at the U.K.'s Institute of Linguistics, Dalby (A Dictionary of Languages) begins by exploring the nature of language, then uses historical evidence (in sometimes wearying detail) from such far-flung theaters as the Roman Empire, Wales, Australia and Hawaii to formulate principles about how languages grow apart, come together, and compete with one another. Of the 5,000 languages currently spoken, he predicts that half will not survive the present century; that there may be as few as 200 languages in less than two centuries; and that, some time after that, the only language spoken may be English. The principal culprits, on his account, are national and international tongues (especially English) that squeeze out minority languages-sometimes by political violence, but more often through the choices of individuals pursuing prosperity by giving up their ancestral speech. If one day we do all end up "speaking in more or less the same way," he warns that we will lose three valuable things: the ethnobotanical and other local knowledge that had been preserved by the vanished languages; the alternative world views those languages embodied; and the linguistic innovation our own language could have enjoyed from interacting with those languages. Unfortunately, Dalby's own case for the inevitability of language loss makes it hard to see what anyone can do to stop it, so his final call for us to "find another way" falls flat. Nevertheless, the book does succeed in posing the problem accessibly, and may even prod some readers into trying to learn or relearn another language. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this study of the questionable future of linguistic diversity in the world, linguist and historian Dalby (A Dictionary of Languages) offers a historical overview of how languages have ceased to exist over time and makes some mind-boggling predictions. After detailing Latin's linguistic victory throughout the Roman Empire, Dalby predicts that of approximately 5000 languages currently spoken, half will be lost by 2100 and that English will continue rising, likely swallowing up even the languages of Europe. He shows that English has become surprisingly influential as a "neutral" language that facilitates communication between various groups in such European countries as Estonia and Belgium. He also ponders whether minority languages can persist, pointing to examples like Yiddish and Romansh. Although pessimistic, this title tackles a subject too important to ignore, especially in academia. It should be considered by academic and large public libraries, along with two supplementary titles: David and Maya Bradley's Language Endangerment and Language Maintenance and the forthcoming second edition of David Crystal's English as a Global Language.-Marianne Orme, Des Plaines P.L., IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231129008
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/23/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Dalby is a linguist and historian living in France. He is an honorary fellow of the Institute of Linguists and the author of Dictionary of Languages (Columbia, 1998) and the Guide to World Language Dictionaries. He is also the author of several award-winning books on the history of food and wine, including Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman Empire, and Dangerous Tastes: Spices in World History.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Acknowledgements
Prologue
1 Language and Our Species 1
2 Language and Change 39
3 Language and Community 82
4 Language and Nation 127
5 How to Become a Global Language 167
6 When We Lose a Language 207
7 The Loss of Diversity 252
Notes 289
References 303
Index 313
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)