Languages: A Very Short Introduction
OUP Oxford, Jun 28, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 135 pages
How many languages are there? What differentiates one language from another? Are new languages still being discovered? Why are so many languages disappearing? The diversity of languages today is varied, but it is steadily declining. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Anderson answers the above questions by looking at the science behind languages. Considering a wide range of different languages and linguistic examples, he demonstrates how languages are not uniformly distributed around the world; just as some places are more diverse than others in terms of plants and animal species, the same goes for the distribution of languages. Exploring the basis for linguistic classification and raising questions about how we identify a language, as well as considering signed languages as well as spoken, Anderson examines the wider social issues of losing languages, and their impact in terms of the endangerment of cultures and peoples. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
dimensions of linguistic diversity
2 How many languages are there in the world?
establishing linguistic relationships
4 The future of languages
5 Some problems in the counting of languages
6 The genotypes of languages
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a|.|_|_ Languages aﬁnnﬁuq America animals areas basic basis biological species Chapter common ancestor comparable consonant corresponding culture Danish David deaf deﬁne deﬁnition dialects different languages discussion distinct languages Doris endangered languages English Ethnologue example extent extinction fact ﬁgure ﬁnd ﬁrst French genetic German grammars Guinea historical home signing I-language identiﬁed individual Indo-European inﬂuence instance Language Isolate language spoken language’s least meaning multilingualism mutual intelligibility nature Northern Spotted Owl notion oflanguages ofthe world organisms original Papua New Guinea parameters particular past tense phonology political population possible principle problem properties question range represent Romance languages Rumantsch scientiﬁc sentence signed languages signiﬁcant SIL International similar Sinitic languages small number social sound change Spanish speak speakers species concept speciﬁc speech spoken languages stop consonant structure Swiss German systematic Trans-New Guinea variation variety verb Votic vowel words world’s languages world’s linguistic diversity