Language in Danger: How Language Loss Threatens Our Future

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9780140290646: Language in Danger: How Language Loss Threatens Our Future

Every two weeks a language dies. Of the estimated 5000 languages spoken worldwide, from Cherokee to Cornish, only half are likely to survive to the end of this century. What does this mean for the human race? Will we eventually become a one-language planet? And does it even matter? This study shows why language loss affects us all. It explores how languages become extinct: through political power, in the case of Latin engulfing the Ancient Mediterranean; through brute force, such as that used against the Native Americans and Australians; and through economics - as the phenomenal rise of English as the language of business and mass communications shows. Andrew Dalby also explains how this linguistic globalization means a loss not just of cultural identity and diversity, but also of the unique world-view and acquired local knowledge enshrined in the way we speak. The consequences, Dalby argues, will be devastating - not just for language, but for the future of humankind itself.

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About the Author:

Andrew Dalby is Honorary Librarian at the Institute of Linguists and author of Dictionary Of Languages (Bloomsbury 1998). He also writes on food. He lives in France.

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Dalby, Andrew
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2003)
ISBN 10: 0140290648 ISBN 13: 9780140290646
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Dalby, Andrew
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2003)
ISBN 10: 0140290648 ISBN 13: 9780140290646
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