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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Book Information

   

Title: The Disappearance of Writing Systems
Subtitle: Perspectives on Literacy and Communication
Edited By: John Baines
John Bennet
Stephen Houston
Description:

This volume gathers papers from the first conference ever to be held on the
disappearance of writing systems, in Oxford in March 2004. While the
invention and decipherment of writing systems have long been focuses of
research, their eclipse or replacement have been little studied. Because
writing is so important in many cultures and civilizations, its
disappearance – followed by a period without it or by replacement by a
different writing system – is of almost equal significance to invention as
a mark of radical change. Probably more writing systems have disappeared
than survived in the last five thousand years.

Case studies from the Old and New Worlds are presented, ranging over
periods from the first millennium BC to the present. In order to address
many types of transmission, the broadest possible definition of ‘writing’
is used, notably including Mexican pictography and the Andean khipu system.
One chapter discusses the larger proportion of known human societies which
have not possessed complex material codes like writing, offering an
alternative perspective on the long-term transmission of socially salient
subjects. A concluding essay draws out common themes and offers an initial
synthesis of results.

The volume offers a new perspective on approaches to writing that will be
significant for the understanding of writing systems and their social
functions, literacy, memory, and high-cultural communication systems in
general.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Equinox Publishing Ltd
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Writing Systems
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1845530136
ISBN-13: 9781845530136
Pages: 384
Prices: U.K. £ 65.00
U.S. $ 95.00