Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages

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9780099460220: Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages

Half the world's languages are threatened with extinction over the next century, as English and the rest of the world's top twenty languages drive all before them. What ways of looking at the world will die along with them, what cultural riches, what experiences, histories and memories? And how does it feel to be one of the last remaining speakers of a language that is on its way to extinction? What chance is there of saving any of these languages? Is it feasible in the long term or even worthwhile? Mark Abley's journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink takes him to aboriginal Australia (where he meets the last surviving fluent male speaker of Mati Ke, who cannot speak to the only other fluent speaker, as she is his sister and in their culture it is forbidden to speak to siblings once one has reached puberty) and to American Indian reservations, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back - Wales, the Faeroe islands, the Isle of Man - whilst also charting the triumphant return of Hebrew.

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From the Inside Flap:

Whether on the other side of the world or in our own backyard, languages everywhere are fading into oblivion. Mark Abley explores what the human family stands to lose -- and explains why some endangered languages continue to thrive.

Within the next couple of generations, most of the world?s 6000 languages will vanish, due mainly to the unstoppable tide of English. With an open mind and a well-worn passport, award-winning journalist and poet Mark Abley tells entertaining and vital stories about why languages matter. From Oklahoma to Provence, aboriginal Australia to Baffin Island, the cultures are radically different, but the problems of shrinking linguistic and cultural richness are painfully similar. Abley?s investigation provides a stunning glimpse of the beauty and intricacies of languages like Yiddish and Yuchi, Mohawk and Manx, Inuktitut and Provençal. More importantly, it offers a sympathetic and memorable portrait of the people who still speak languages under threat.

When a language dies out, gone too are stories that have been told for centuries, unique ways of seeing the world, and perhaps even ways of solving problems both large and small. Abley believes we must see languages as abundant sources of richness, wonder and usefulness. And he shows that hope still exists: that the determination of even one person can revive a whole language and its culture, in the process creating something new, changing and alive -- exactly what languages do best.

About the Author:

Mark Abley, a winner of Canada's National Newspaper Award, is the author of nine critically-acclaimed books, ranging from children's fiction to poetry, via journalistic non-fiction. He has written for the TLS, the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette, amongst other publications. Winning a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005 inspired his 2008 book The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English. He lives in Montreal and speaks English, French, and a little Welsh.

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Half the world s languages are threatened with extinction over the next century, as English and the rest of the world s top twenty languages drive all before them. What ways of looking at the world will die along with them, what cultural riches, what experiences, histories and memories? And how does it feel to be one of the last remaining speakers of a language that is on its way to extinction? What chance is there of saving any of these languages? Is it feasible in the long term or even worthwhile? Mark Abley s journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink takes him to aboriginal Australia (where he meets the last surviving fluent male speaker of Mati Ke, who cannot speak to the only other fluent speaker, as she is his sister and in their culture it is forbidden to speak to siblings once one has reached puberty) and to American Indian reservations, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back - Wales, the Faeroe islands, the Isle of Man - whilst also charting the triumphant return of Hebrew. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099460220

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Half the world s languages are threatened with extinction over the next century, as English and the rest of the world s top twenty languages drive all before them. What ways of looking at the world will die along with them, what cultural riches, what experiences, histories and memories? And how does it feel to be one of the last remaining speakers of a language that is on its way to extinction? What chance is there of saving any of these languages? Is it feasible in the long term or even worthwhile? Mark Abley s journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink takes him to aboriginal Australia (where he meets the last surviving fluent male speaker of Mati Ke, who cannot speak to the only other fluent speaker, as she is his sister and in their culture it is forbidden to speak to siblings once one has reached puberty) and to American Indian reservations, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back - Wales, the Faeroe islands, the Isle of Man - whilst also charting the triumphant return of Hebrew. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099460220

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Book Description Cornerstone. Book Condition: New. 2005. Paperback. Half the world's languages are threatened with extinction, as English and other top 20 languages drive all before them. This work offers the author's journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink that take him to aboriginal Australia and to American Indian reservations, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: CFF; WTL; WTM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 131 x 22. Weight in Grams: 286. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099460220

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Book Description Cornerstone, 2005. Book Condition: New. 2005. Paperback. Half the world's languages are threatened with extinction, as English and other top 20 languages drive all before them. This work offers the author's journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink that take him to aboriginal Australia and to American Indian reservations, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: CFF; WTL; WTM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 131 x 22. Weight in Grams: 286. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099460220

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Book Description Cornerstone. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Spoken Here: Travel among Threatened Languages, Mark Abley, Half the world's languages are threatened with extinction over the next century, as English and the rest of the world's top twenty languages drive all before them. What ways of looking at the world will die along with them, what cultural riches, what experiences, histories and memories? And how does it feel to be one of the last remaining speakers of a language that is on its way to extinction? What chance is there of saving any of these languages? Is it feasible in the long term or even worthwhile? Mark Abley's journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink takes him to aboriginal Australia (where he meets the last surviving fluent male speaker of Mati Ke, who cannot speak to the only other fluent speaker, as she is his sister and in their culture it is forbidden to speak to siblings once one has reached puberty) and to American Indian reservations, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back - Wales, the Faeroe islands, the Isle of Man - whilst also charting the triumphant return of Hebrew. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099460220

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