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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.


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Title: Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages
Written By: Daniel Nettle
Suzanne Romaine
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
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0195136241
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 256pp
Prices: $27.50