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Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What…
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Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us (edition 2009)

by Nicholas Evans

Series: The Language Library (2009)

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933296,217 (4)1
The next century will see more than half of the world?s 6,000languages become extinct, and most of these will disappear withoutbeing adequately recorded. Written by one of the leading figures inlanguage documentation, this fascinating book explores whathumanity stands to lose as a result. Explores the unique philosophy, knowledge, and culturalassumptions of languages, and their impact on our collectiveintellectual heritage Questions why such linguistic diversity exists in the firstplace, and how can we can best respond to the challenge ofrecording and documenting these fragile oral traditions while theyare still with us Written by one of the leading figures in languagedocumentation, and draws on a wealth of vivid examples from his ownfield experience Brings conceptual issues vividly to life by weaving inportraits of individual ?last speakers? and anecdotesabout linguists and their discoveries… (more)
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I studied linguistics and wanted Evans to convince me. I have given up after 80 pages, rather appalled at the idea that he regrets the lack of videos from ancient extinct languages. All very over the top.

If some of these languages were deliberately made so that my little village had a different language from their little village, maybe that is why both are now dying out.

I was trying to read this in German translation, so perhaps it reads better in English. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Apr 15, 2015 |
I think this book would be good as a textbook in an introductory linguistics course. The author is passionate about linguistics in general and the extremely obscure, dying-out languages in particular, and he has convinced me of the importance of both. I had no idea that languages could be so different, or say so much about a culture's history and mindset. This is the kind of book that might cause a young undergraduate student to seek a career in the linguistics field. I found it fascinating. ( )
  meggyweg | Oct 13, 2010 |
An excellent survey of the evolution of languages and why we should care that so many are on the point of dying. Evans surveys the contemporary field of linguistics for a lay audience, and shows the ways language inscripts so many aspects of culture, from the high culture of poetry to the agricultural knowledge of nomads. ( )
1 vote TedWitham | Oct 13, 2009 |
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The next century will see more than half of the world?s 6,000languages become extinct, and most of these will disappear withoutbeing adequately recorded. Written by one of the leading figures inlanguage documentation, this fascinating book explores whathumanity stands to lose as a result. Explores the unique philosophy, knowledge, and culturalassumptions of languages, and their impact on our collectiveintellectual heritage Questions why such linguistic diversity exists in the firstplace, and how can we can best respond to the challenge ofrecording and documenting these fragile oral traditions while theyare still with us Written by one of the leading figures in languagedocumentation, and draws on a wealth of vivid examples from his ownfield experience Brings conceptual issues vividly to life by weaving inportraits of individual ?last speakers? and anecdotesabout linguists and their discoveries

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