Towards an Ecology of World Languages

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9780745629568: Towards an Ecology of World Languages

There are around 5,000 languages spoken across the world today, but the languages that coexist in our multilingual world have varied functions and fulfil various roles. Some are spoken by small groups, a village or a tribe; others, much less numerous, are spoken by hundreds of millions of speakers. Certain languages, like English, French and Chinese, are highly valued, while others are largely ignored. Even if all languages are equal in the eyes of the linguist, the world’s languages are in fact fundamentally unequal. All languages do not have the same value, and their inequality is at the heart of the way they are organized across the world. In this major book Louis–Jean Calvet, one of the foremost sociolinguists working today, develops an ecological approach to language in order to analyse the changing structure of the world language system. The ecological approach to language begins from actual linguistic practices and studies the relations between these practices and their social, political and economic environment. The practices which constitute languages, on the one hand, and their environment, on the other, form a linguistic ecosystem in which languages coexist, multiply and influence one another. Using a rich panoply of examples from across the world, Calvet elaborates the ecological approach and shows how it can shed light on the changing forms of language use in the world today. This path–breaking book will be of great value to students and scholars in linguistics and sociolinguistics and to anyone concerned with the fate of languages in our increasingly globalized world.

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Product Description:

In this essential new book Louis-Jean Calvet argues that what we call 'languages' are in fact abstractions invented by linguists as a convenient tool to label the subject-matter of their science. Calvet contends that languages are "alive" and therefore can and should only be approached ecologically.

Review:

"A treasure–trove addition in the realm of ecolinguistics ... of interest not only to professional linguists it is also a highly recommended textbook for students of linguistics."

Jan Blommaert and Pan Lin, Journal of Sociolinguistics

"This is an important book, original in its conception, provocative in its argument, accessible in its content. Given the growing interest in language diversity, the publication of this book in English will be of great value for students and scholars alike."

Humphrey Tonkin, University of Hartford

"Calvet s ideas are great, and are as relevant today as ever."

David Crystal, University of Wales

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Book Description Polity Press, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 228 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. There are around 5,000 languages spoken across the world today, but the languages that coexist in our multilingual world have varied functions and fulfil various roles. Some are spoken by small groups, a village or a tribe; others, much less numerous, are spoken by hundreds of millions of speakers. Certain languages, like English, French and Chinese, are highly valued, while others are largely ignored. Even if all languages are equal in the eyes of the linguist, the world s languages are in fact fundamentally unequal. All languages do not have the same value, and their inequality is at the heart of the way they are organized across the world. In this major book Louis-Jean Calvet, one of the foremost sociolinguists working today, develops an ecological approach to language in order to analyse the changing structure of the world language system. The ecological approach to language begins from actual linguistic practices and studies the relations between these practices and their social, political and economic environment. The practices which constitute languages, on the one hand, and their environment, on the other, form a linguistic ecosystem in which languages coexist, multiply and influence one another. Using a rich panoply of examples from across the world, Calvet elaborates the ecological approach and shows how it can shed light on the changing forms of language use in the world today. This path-breaking book will be of great value to students and scholars in linguistics and sociolinguistics and to anyone concerned with the fate of languages in our increasingly globalized world. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780745629568

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Book Description Polity. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 304 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 5.9in. x 0.9in.There are around 5, 000 languages spoken across the world today, but the languages that coexist in our multilingual world have varied functions and fulfil various roles. Some are spoken by small groups, a village or a tribe; others, much less numerous, are spoken by hundreds of millions of speakers. Certain languages, like English, French and Chinese, are highly valued, while others are largely ignored. Even if all languages are equal in the eyes of the linguist, the worlds languages are in fact fundamentally unequal. All languages do not have the same value, and their inequality is at the heart of the way they are organized across the world. In this major book Louis-Jean Calvet, one of the foremost sociolinguists working today, develops an ecological approach to language in order to analyse the changing structure of the world language system. The ecological approach to language begins from actual linguistic practices and studies the relations between these practices and their social, political and economic environment. The practices which constitute languages, on the one hand, and their environment, on the other, form a linguistic ecosystem in which languages coexist, multiply and influence one another. Using a rich panoply of examples from across the world, Calvet elaborates the ecological approach and shows how it can shed light on the changing forms of language use in the world today. This path-breaking book will be of great value to students and scholars in linguistics and sociolinguistics and to anyone concerned with the fate of languages in our increasingly globalized world. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780745629568

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