By Tore Janson
This e-book is a background of human speech from prehistory to the current. It charts the increase of a few languages and the autumn of others, explaining why a few continue to exist and others die. It exhibits how languages switch their sounds and meanings, and the way the historical past of languages is heavily associated with the historical past of peoples.
Writing in a full of life, readable kind, amazing Swedish student Tore Janson makes no assumptions approximately past wisdom. he is taking the reader on a voyage of exploration in the course of the altering styles of the world's languages, from historical China to historic Egypt, imperial Rome to imperial Britain, Sappho's Lesbos to modern Africa. He discovers the hyperlinks among the histories of societies and their languages; he exhibits how language developed from primitive calls; he considers the query of even if one language might be extra complicated than one other. the writer describes the historical past of writing and the effect of fixing know-how. He ends through assessing the customers for English international domination and predicting the languages of the far-off destiny.
5 historic maps illustrate this attention-grabbing historical past of our defining attribute and most beneficial asset.
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This booklet is a background of human speech from prehistory to the current. It charts the increase of a few languages and the autumn of others, explaining why a few live to tell the tale and others die. It indicates how languages swap their sounds and meanings, and the way the heritage of languages is heavily associated with the heritage of peoples.
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Extra resources for a short history of languages
All the languages are found in eastern Asia, mostly more or less adjacent to each other, although Chinese is nowadays spread over a large part of the world because of extensive migration in the last centuries. In most other large groups, no single language dominates to that extent. However, in the groups with a large number of speakers there are mostly a few languages with very many speakers, while most languages have few speakers. For example, the Dravidian group, found mostly in southern India, has four large languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada) with more than 150 million speakers between them, and an additional 65 languages or dialects that share the remaining 9 million or so.
But languages are also influenced by each other. To begin with, only single words are taken over, but in due time there will be other changes. How extensive these changes become, and which language will be most affected, has to do with the kind of contacts between the groups, and with their respective shares of power and influence. In that way, language changes are connected with history. The pace of language change is usually rather slow compared to the lifespan of an individual. Old people notice and often complain about some changes from when they were young, but mostly fairly minor issues.
As we have seen, the singular prefix mo- and the plural prefix ba- are used with some stems. But there are other possibilities too. 6. It can be seen that there are two classes of noun, one containing words for human beings that has mo- for the singular, ba- for the plural, and one containing other words that has se- for the singular, di- for the plural. There are more classes but this is sufficient to grasp the general idea. The word for “school” is a loan from English school, which can be seen easily in the singular form.
a short history of languages by Tore Janson