Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us

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Wiley, Apr 29, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 312 pages
2 Reviews
The next century will see more than half of the world’s 6,000 languages become extinct, and most of these will disappear without being adequately recorded. Written by one of the leading figures in language documentation, this fascinating book explores what humanity stands to lose as a result.

  • Explores the unique philosophy, knowledge, and cultural assumptions of languages, and their impact on our collective intellectual heritage
  • Questions why such linguistic diversity exists in the first place, and how can we can best respond to the challenge of recording and documenting these fragile oral traditions while they are still with us
  • Written by one of the leading figures in language documentation, and draws on a wealth of vivid examples from his own field experience
  • Brings conceptual issues vividly to life by weaving in portraits of individual ‘last speakers’ and anecdotes about linguists and their discoveries

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I am not impressed by looking inside this book, on the computer, that on page 51 the Hebrew was printed backwards.

Review: Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us

User Review  - Peter N. - Goodreads

The book was marred a little by not having a totally clear argument other than "marginal languages are important", but on that level it gives the reader, especially one unfamiliar with linguistics, a ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Nicholas Evans is Professor of Linguistics at the Australian National University and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He is on the editorial boards of the journals Linguistic Typology and Australian Journal of Linguistics, and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen. He is the author of a number of books, including Bininj Gun-wok (2 volumes, 2001), Archaeology and Linguistics: Aboriginal Australia in Global Perspective (co-edited with Patrick McConvell, 1998), and A Grammar of Kayardild (1992).

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