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Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages

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Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Few people know that nearly 100 native languages once spoken in what is now California are near extinction, or that most of Australia's 250 aboriginal languages have vanished. In fact, at least half of the world's languages may die out in the next century. What has happened to these voices? Should we be alarmed about the disappearance of linguistic diversity?

The authors of Vanishing Voices assert that this trend is far more than simply disturbing. Making explicit the link between language survival and environmental issues, they argue that the extinction of languages is part of the larger picture of near-total collapse of the worldwide ecosystem. Indeed, the authors contend that the struggle to preserve precious environmental resources-such as the rainforest-cannot be separated from the struggle to maintain diverse cultures, and that the causes of language death, like that of ecological destruction, lie at the intersection of ecology and politics.

And while Nettle and Romaine defend the world's endangered languages, they also pay homage to the last speakers of dying tongues, such as Red Thundercloud, a Native American in South Carolina, Ned Mandrell, with whom the Manx language passed away in 1974, and Arthur Bennett, an Australian, the last person to know more than a few words of Mbabaram.

In our languages lies the accumulated knowledge of humanity. Indeed, each language is a unique window on experience. Vanishing Voices is a call to preserve this resource, before it is too late.

Synopsis:

Warning that at least half of the world's languages may die out in the next century, the authors assert that such extinction is part of the larger picture of near-total collapse of the worldwide ecosystem. Defending the world's endangered languages, the authors pay homage to the last speakers of dying tongues. 25 halftones. 14 line illustrations.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [215]-224) and index.

About the Author

Daniel Nettle received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from University College London. He is the author The Fyem Language of Northern Nigeria and Linguistic Diversity (OUP). He lives in London. Suzanne Romaine has been Merton Professor of English Language at the University of Oxford since 1984. She is the author of numerous books, including Language, Education and Development: Urban and Rural Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea and Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (both by OUP). She lives in Oxford.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195136241
Author:
Nettle, Daniel
Author:
Romaine, Suzanne
Author:
null, Suzanne
Author:
null, Daniel
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Location:
Oxford, UK ;
Subject:
Linguistics
Subject:
Anthropological linguistics
Subject:
Language maintenance
Subject:
Language obsolescence
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Linguistics | Sociolinguistics
Subject:
Linguistics | Sociolinguistics and Anthropological Linguistics
Subject:
Linguistics - General
Subject:
Linguistics | Sociolinguistics & Anthropological Linguistics
Series Volume:
2245
Publication Date:
20021131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
44 b/w illus.
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 in 1.25 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages New Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195136241 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Warning that at least half of the world's languages may die out in the next century, the authors assert that such extinction is part of the larger picture of near-total collapse of the worldwide ecosystem. Defending the world's endangered languages, the authors pay homage to the last speakers of dying tongues. 25 halftones. 14 line illustrations.

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