Speak: A Short History of Languages / Edition 1

Speak: A Short History of Languages / Edition 1

by Tore Janson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199263418

ISBN-13: 9780199263417

Pub. Date: 10/01/2003

Publisher: Oxford University Press

This book is a history of human speech from prehistory to the present. It charts the rise of some languages and the fall of others, explaining why some survive and others die. It shows how languages change their sounds and meanings, and how the history of languages is closely linked to the history of peoples.

Writing in a lively, readable style, distinguished

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Overview

This book is a history of human speech from prehistory to the present. It charts the rise of some languages and the fall of others, explaining why some survive and others die. It shows how languages change their sounds and meanings, and how the history of languages is closely linked to the history of peoples.

Writing in a lively, readable style, distinguished Swedish scholar Tore Janson makes no assumptions about previous knowledge. He takes the reader on a voyage of exploration through the changing patterns of the world's languages, from ancient China to ancient Egypt, imperial Rome to imperial Britain, Sappho's Lesbos to contemporary Africa. He discovers the links between the histories of societies and their languages; he shows how language evolved from primitive calls; he considers the question of whether one language can be more advanced than another. The author describes the history of writing and the impact of changing technology. He ends by assessing the prospects for English world domination and predicting the languages of the distant future.

Five historical maps illustrate this fascinating history of our defining characteristic and most valuable asset.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199263417
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
794,332
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 4.70(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

1. Languages before History

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