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LINGUIST List 16.1797

Tue Jun 07 2005

Books: Hist Ling/English/French/German: Deutscher

Editor for this issue: Tetyana Sydorenko <tanyalinguistlist.org>


Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
Directory
        1.    Jessica Firger, The Unfolding of Language: Deutscher


Message 1: The Unfolding of Language: Deutscher
Date: 07-Jun-2005
From: Jessica Firger <Jessica.Firgerhholt.com>
Subject: The Unfolding of Language: Deutscher


Title: The Unfolding of Language
Subtitle: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention
Published: 2005
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
                http://www.henryholt.com/

Book URL: http://www.unfoldingoflanguage.com

Author: Guy Deutscher, Ph.D., University of Leiden
Hardback: ISBN: 0805079076 Pages: 360 Price: U.S. $ 26.00
Hardback: ISBN: 043401155X Pages: 360 Price: U.K. £ 14.00
Abstract:

"Language is mankind's greatest invention - except of course, that it was
never invented." So begins Guy Deutscher's investigation into the
evolution of language. No one believes that the Roman Senate sat down one
day to design the complex system that is Latin grammar, and few believe,
these days, in the literal truth of the story of the Tower of Babel. But
then how did there come to be so many languages of such elaborate design?
If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of "man throw
spear," how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous
vocabularies, and intricately nuanced shades of meaning?

Drawing on recent discoveries in modern linguistics, The Unfolding of
Language exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human
communication. The emergence of linguistic complexity is reconstructed from
an early evolutionary "Me Tarzan" stage, all the way to the expressive
power of languages today. Arguing that destruction and creation in language
are intimately entwined, Deutscher shows how these processes are
continuously in operation, generating new words, new structures, and new
meanings. From the written records of lost civilizations to the spoken
idiom of today's streets, we move nimbly from ancient Babylonian through
medieval French to the English of the present. We marvel at the triumph of
design that is the Semitic verb, puzzle over single words that can express
highly elaborate sentiments, such as the Turkish
sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz ("you are one of those whom we couldn't
turn into a town-dweller"), and observe how great changes of pronunciation
may result from an age old human habit - simple laziness. Through the
dramatic story of The Unfolding of Language, we discover the genius behind
a uniquely human faculty.

Introduction:'This marvellous invention'
Chapter 1: A Castle in the Air
Chapter 2: Perpetual Motion
Chapter 3: The Forces of Destruction
Chapter 4: A Reef of Dead Metaphors
Chapter 5: The Forces of Creation
Chapter 6: Craving for Order
Chapter 7: The Unfolding of Language
Epilogue

Appendix A: Flipping Categories
Appendix B: Laryngeals Again?
Appendix C: The Devil in the Detail
Appendix D: The Cook's Counterpoint
Appendix E: The Turkish Mirror


Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (ENG)
                            French (FRN)
                            German, Standard (GER)
                            Turkish (TRK)
                            Sumerian (SVM)

Written In: English (ENG )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=15193


-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------
Cambridge University Press http://us.cambridge.org
Cascadilla Press http://www.cascadilla.com/
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd http://www.continuumbooks.com
Edinburgh University Press http://www.eup.ed.ac.uk/
Elsevier Ltd. http://www.elsevier.com/linguistics
Equinox Publishing Ltd. http://www.equinoxpub.com/
Georgetown University Press http://www.press.georgetown.edu
Hodder Arnold http://www.hoddereducation.co.uk
John Benjamins http://www.benjamins.com/
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates http://www.erlbaum.com/
Lincom GmbH www.lincom.at
MIT Press http://mitpress.mit.edu/
Mouton de Gruyter http://www.mouton-publishers.com
Oxford University Press http://www.oup.com/us
Rodopi http://www.rodopi.nl/
Routledge (Taylor and Francis) http://www.routledge.com/
Springer-Verlag http://www.springeronline.com

---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------
Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc., Umass http://glsa.hypermart.net/
International Pragmatics Assoc. http://ipra-www.uia.ac.be/ipra/
Kingston Press Ltd http://www.kingstonpress.com/
MIT Working Papers in Linguistics http://web.mit.edu/mitwpl/
Multilingual Matters http://www.multilingual-matters.com/
Pacific Linguistics http://pacling.anu.edu.au/
Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com
SIL International http://www.ethnologue.com/bookstore.asp
St. Jerome Publishing Ltd. http://www.stjerome.co.uk
Utrecht Institute of Linguistics / LOT Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistic http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/

 






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