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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


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Title: Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages
Description:

Hundreds of the 6,000 or so languages of our planet are disappearing every year, dying one by one like the creatures on the Endangered Species List. Indeed, language-diversity and biodiversity have a lot in common, so, shouldn't we be alarmed about the disappearance of linguistic diversity as well? VANISHING VOICES tells the story of how and why languages are disappearing. Nearly 100 native languages once spoken in what is now California are near extinction, and most of Australia's 250 aboriginal languages have vanished. In fact, at least half of the world's languages may die out in the next century. The authors Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine assert that this trend is far more than simply disturbing. Making explicit the link between language survival and environmental issues, they argue that the extinction of languages is part of the larger picture of near-total collapse of the worldwide ecosystem. The authors contend that the struggle to preserve precious environmental resources-such as the rainforest-cannot be separated from the struggle to maintain diverse cultures, and that the causes of language death, like that of ecological destruction, lie at the intersection of ecology and politics. And while Nettle and Romaine defend the world's endangered languages, they also pay homage to the last speakers of dying tongues, such as Red Thundercloud, a Native American in South Carolina, Ned Madrell, with whom the Manx language passed away in 1974, and Arthur Bennett, an Australian, the last person to know more than a few words of Mbabaram. In our languages lie the accumulated knowledge of humanity. Each language is a unique window on experience. VANISHING VOICES is a call to preserve this resource, before it is too late.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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): Language Documentation
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0195136241
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 256pp
Prices: $27.50