Speak: A Short History of Languages

Speak: A Short History of Languages

by Tore Janson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0198299788

ISBN-13: 9780198299783

Pub. Date: 04/01/1902

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

How does a language come into being and when does it disappear? What actually happened to Latin? When was English created? Will all people on Earth speak English or Chinese in 200 years? These are a few of the fascinating questions discussed in A Short History of Languages. It is about how historical conditions shape languages and how languages influence the…  See more details below

Overview

How does a language come into being and when does it disappear? What actually happened to Latin? When was English created? Will all people on Earth speak English or Chinese in 200 years? These are a few of the fascinating questions discussed in A Short History of Languages. It is about how historical conditions shape languages and how languages influence the course of history.

The book starts with a discussion of the period of hunters and gatherers, when there was a huge number of languages. It moves on to Greek and Latin, to French and Italian, and naturally a full discussion of English. Many other languages are treated, from Setswana in southern Africa to the Creole language of Nevis in the West Indies. Hanson presents languages and cultures in a lively way, with concrete examples and, often, small samples from literary works. Although no knowledge of foreign languages is required, the book provides astonishing insights into many cultures and their languages. At the same time, it identifies long terms trends in history that may allow us to make predictions about the future.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198299783
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/01/1902
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Languages Before History1
2The Large Language Groups29
3Writing and the Egyptians57
4Greek and the Greeks69
5Latin and the Romans89
6Did Dante Write in Italian?108
7From Germanic to Modern English129
8The Era of National Languages165
9Languages of Europe and of the World184
10How Languages Are Born - or Made202
11How Languages Disappear232
12The Heyday of English251
13And Then?267
Suggestions for Further Reading283
Index291

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