Download a short history of languages by Tore Janson PDF

By Tore Janson

This e-book is a heritage of human speech from prehistory to the current. It charts the increase of a few languages and the autumn of others, explaining why a few live to tell the tale and others die. It exhibits how languages switch their sounds and meanings, and the way the historical past of languages is heavily associated with the background of peoples.

Writing in a full of life, readable sort, amazing Swedish student Tore Janson makes no assumptions approximately past wisdom. he is taking the reader on a voyage of exploration in the course of the altering styles of the world's languages, from historical China to historic Egypt, imperial Rome to imperial Britain, Sappho's Lesbos to modern Africa. He discovers the hyperlinks among the histories of societies and their languages; he exhibits how language advanced from primitive calls; he considers the query of even if one language should be extra complex than one other. the writer describes the background of writing and the influence of fixing expertise. He ends by means of assessing the customers for English global domination and predicting the languages of the far-off destiny.

5 ancient maps illustrate this attention-grabbing heritage of our defining attribute and Most worthy asset.

Show description

Read Online or Download a short history of languages PDF

Similar foreign language study & reference books

PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE (INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS EDITION)

I assumed it might be various, however it has loads of strong motives, to enhance your English, it's totally important, with stable suggestions and advices.
Good to shop for at a discount as I did.

Principles of Phonology

Ebook through Trubetzkoy, N. S.

Das Erdschlußproblem in Hochspannungsnetzen

Dieser Buchtitel ist Teil des Digitalisierungsprojekts Springer publication data mit Publikationen, die seit den Anfängen des Verlags von 1842 erschienen sind. Der Verlag stellt mit diesem Archiv Quellen für die historische wie auch die disziplingeschichtliche Forschung zur Verfügung, die jeweils im historischen Kontext betrachtet werden müssen.

Ansichten griechischer Rituale: Geburtstags-Symposium für Walter Burkert

Even the main decided enemy of Festschriften could baulk at refusing one to Walter Burkert, for there are few students whose paintings has been extra universally favourite and applauded. at the get together of his sixty fifth birthday in 1996 a bunch of former scholars (Graf, Riedweg and Szlezák) and fellow students of Greek faith accumulated on the Römerstiftung René Clavel in Augst close to Basel to have a good time his success with a symposium.

Extra resources for a short history of languages

Sample text

This is the nature of language change. Historical linguists apply quite subtle methods to find out whether different 53 The Large Language Groups languages may have had a common prehistory, and these are the methods that are used to establish the existence of language groups. However, there are limits to how far back these methods can take us. It is often possible to reconstruct important aspects of the language situation two or three thousand years ago from languages that are spoken now. If there are old written sources, as is the case for some Indo-European languages, it is possible to reconstruct about as far back again, from the time when they were written.

In most other large groups, no single language dominates to that extent. However, in the groups with a large number of speakers there are mostly a few languages with very many speakers, while most languages have few speakers. For example, the Dravidian group, found mostly in southern India, has four large languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada) with more than 150 million speakers between them, and an additional 65 languages or dialects that share the remaining 9 million or so. All in all there are around twenty large language groups that are generally recognized by linguists.

Its previous history is unknown. But there are many such isolates over the world. Probably each one of them has a very long history of its own, but in most cases nobody knows anything at all about it. However, most languages belong to some group, or language family, as the usual term is. The word “family” implies an 49 The Large Language Groups analogy that is, in my view, somewhat misleading; languages may be similar for a number of reasons, and the relations between languages are not at all like human kinship.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.18 of 5 – based on 32 votes