Friday, November 14, 2008

Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages by Mark Abley

First sentence:

"An old man watches a milky ocean roll in to the shore."


"Mark Abley's journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink take him to aboriginal Austalia, to American Indian reservations and to elderly Canadian speakers of Yiddish, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back: Wales, the Faeroe Islands, the Isle of Man. He examines the forces - from pop culture to creoles to globalisation - that threaten to wipe out 90 per cent of languages by the end of this century. And he pays tribute to such unfamiliar tongues as the Amazonian language last spoken by a parrot, the Caucasion language with no vowels, and the South Asian language whose innumerable verbs include gobray (to fall in a well unknowingly) and onsra (to love for the last time)." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This was a very interesting book about language and culture. I especially liked the chapters about the Isle of Man and the Yuchi Indians.

Date Read: 10/5/2008
Book #: 71
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Nonfiction

ISBN-10: 009946022X
ISBN-13: 9780099460220
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
Year: 2005
# of Pages: 280
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing Page

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