Languages: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | July 24, 2012

byStephen Anderson

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How many languages are there? What differentiates one language from another? Are new languages still being discovered? Why are so many languages disappearing? The diversity of languages today is varied, but it is steadily declining. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Anderson answers the above questions by looking at the science behind languages. Considering a wide range of different languages and linguistic examples, he demonstrates how languagesare not uniformly distributed around the world; just as some places are more diverse than others in terms of plants and animal species, the same goes for the distribution of languages. Exploring the basis for linguistic classification and raising questions about how we identify a language, as well as considering signed languages as well as spoken, Anderson examines the wider social issues of losing languages, and their impact in terms of the endangerment of cultures andpeoples.

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How many languages are there? What differentiates one language from another? Are new languages still being discovered? Why are so many languages disappearing? The diversity of languages today is varied, but it is steadily declining. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Anderson answers the above questions by looking at the science ...

Stephen Anderson has been the Dorothy R. Diebold Professor of Linguistics at Yale University for the last 15 years. He has written or co-authored six books in Linguistics, including Doctor Dolittle's Delusion (Yale University Press, 2004) a book on animal communication and its relation to human language intended for the educated gener...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.68 inPublished:July 24, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199590591

ISBN - 13:9780199590599

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: dimensions of linguistic diversity2. How many languages are there in the world?3. Phylogenetic linguistics: establishing linguistic relationships4. The future of languages5. Some problems in the counting of languages6. The genotypes of languages7. The diversity of signed languages8. Conclusion: the unity of human languageReferencesFurther reading