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Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World (original 2005; edition 2005)
Empires of the Word : a Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler (2005)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (4)
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060935723, Paperback)
Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:14 -0400)
"The story of the world in the last five thousand years is above all the story of its languages. Yet the history of the world's great languages has been very little told. Empires of the Word, by the wide-ranging linguist Nicholas Ostler, is the first to bring together the tales in all their glorious variety: the amazing innovations in education, culture, and diplomacy devised by speakers of Sumerian and its successors in the Middle East, right up to the Arabic of the present day; the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions; the charmed progress of Sanskrit from north India to Java and Japan; the engaging self-regard of Greek; the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe; and the global spread of English."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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