LINGUIST List 13.2320

Mon Sep 16 2002

Books: Sociolinguistics: Abram de Swaan

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  1. tmac, Abram de Swaan: Sociolinguistics

Message 1: Abram de Swaan: Sociolinguistics

Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 14:42:00 +0000
From: tmac <tmacblackwellpub.com>
Subject: Abram de Swaan: Sociolinguistics

Title: Words of the World
Subtitle: The Global Language System
			
Publication Year: 2001
			
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers 
 http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/
			
Book URL: http://www.blackwellpub.com/asp/book.asp?ref=0745627471
			
Author: Abram de Swaan 
				
Hardback: ISBN: 0745627471, Pages: 272, Price: 64.95
Comment: *30% off with a subscription to Blackwell's LL+
Paperback: ISBN: 074562748X, Pages: 272, Price: 29.95
Comment: *30% off with a subscription to Blackwell's LL+
			
Abstract:

This bold and accessible study of human languages and communication
explores issues which are at the forefront of today's globalized
society.

The human species is divided into more than five thousand language
groups that do not understand each other. And yet these groups
constitute one coherent world language system, connected by
multilingual speakers in a surprisingly powerful way. The chances of a
language thriving depend on its position in the system. There are
thousands of small, peripheral languages, each connected to one of a
hundred central languages. The entire system is held together by one
global language: English. A language is a 'hypercollective' good: the
more speakers it has, the higher its communication value for each one
of them. Thus, when people think that a language is gaining new
speakers, that in itself is a reason for them to want to learn it
too. That is why, in an age of globalization, only a few languages
remain for transnational communication and these often prevail even in
national societies.

This important book discusses a number of specific constellations in
detail: India, Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and the
European Union. De Swaan concludes by providing a sober but
illuminating view of language policy in multilingual societies. This
book will be essential reading for those studying sociology,
communication studies and linguistics.

Lingfield(s): Sociolinguistics
			 
Subject Language(s): English (Language code: ENG)
 
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

			
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Thursday, January 17, 2002