One Thousand Languages: Living, Endangered, and Lost / Edition 1

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There are more than six thousand languages used around the world today, although linguists now estimate that by the year 2050 as many as half of those will be extinct. This beautifully designed, engagingly written reference takes us on a panoramic tour of the globe to explore this unique and endangered human gift. Generously illustrated throughout with color photographs, informative sidebars, and clear maps and graphics, One Thousand Languages illuminates the sources, characteristics, and interrelationships of the world's spoken tongues. It looks in detail at the eleven global languages, then delves into the major languages of each world region in turn. Each entry gives a history of the growth and development of the language, details the number of speakers, and traces its geographical spread. The volume also provides information on many extinct languages. A detailed map section tracks the migrations of the major languages, and the book also tells how to count to ten in more than 250 ways.

Copub: Ivy Press Limited

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“Anyone interested in world culture or the history of mankind should take a look.”
Times Higher Education
“Lavishly provided with maps, good-quality illustrations, and text boxes. . . . An attractive volume and not just a comprehensive work of reference.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520255609
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,023,175
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter K. Austin is Märit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics and, Director of the Endangered Languages Academic Program at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Peler Austin Austin, Peler 6

1 World Languages Nicholas Ostler Ostler, Nicholas 10

2 European Languages Glanville Price Price, Glanville 36

3 North and West African Languages Friederike Lupke Lupke, Friederike Philip J. Jagger Jagger, Philip J. 60

4 Central, East, and Southern African Languages Nancy Kula Kula, Nancy Lutz Marten Marten, Lutz 86

5 South Asian Languages Anju Saxena Saxena, Anju 112

6 Central, Western, and Northern Asian Languages Kagan Arik Arik, Kagan 136

7 East and Southeast Asian Languages David Bradley Bradley, David 154

8 Australia-Pacific Languages Nicholas Thieberger Thieberger, Nicholas Rachel Nordlinger Nordlinger, Rachel 174

9 Languages of the Americas Nicholas Ostler Ostler, Nicholas Jose Antonio Flores Farfan Farfan, Jose Antonio Flores 190

10 Endangered Languages Lenore Grenoble Grenoble, Lenore 214

11 Extinct Languages Nicholas Ostler Ostler, Nicholas 236

Maps 256

Glossary 280

Bibliography 282

Index 284

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2009

    The Tower of Babel

    This is a most comprehensive work on all the languages of the world, living as well as dead. If you expect some informative essays, you will. like me, be disappointed, but on the whole this work gives us an overwhelming survey of the richness of linguistical creativity that humanity is capable of. A lot of facts are whirling by, as you browse the pages, as well as plenty of pictures of fluctuating value. A book for the real language-lover, though not so much of informative and analytical interest. A beautiful book no doubt, and a pleasure to dip into, when you have nothing else to do.

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