New PDF release: a short history of languages

By Tore Janson

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 continue to exist and others die. It exhibits how languages switch their sounds and meanings, and the way the heritage of languages is heavily associated with the heritage of peoples.

Writing in a full of life, readable sort, unique Swedish pupil 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 historic China to historical 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 indicates how language advanced from primitive calls; he considers the query of even if one language could be extra complicated than one other. the writer describes the background of writing and the effect of adjusting know-how. He ends by means of assessing the customers for English global domination and predicting the languages of the far away destiny.

5 old maps illustrate this interesting heritage of our defining attribute and most useful asset.

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Extra resources for a short history of languages

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At this point we again encounter the question of what a language is. It reappears time and again in this book. As a 23 Languages Before History preliminary, it should be said that there are few generally accepted rules or criteria for deciding when two ways of speaking should be regarded as being the same language and when they should be seen as two separate ones. Obviously, when two forms of speech are so dissimilar that it is completely impossible to establish communication, as is the case with English and Chinese, for example, they are regarded as different languages by everyone.

Let us now get back to the problem brought up earlier: how did these languages propagate? What is behind the facts that the Germanic and Slavic languages are found over such large areas and that the Indo-European language has offshoots that are spoken all over Europe and large parts of Asia? Several answers have been proposed. In any case, the way of life must have been an important factor. As early as several thousand years ago it had changed much from the culture of gatherers and hunters. From around 10,000 years ago people began to influence vegetation by sowing and reaping sought-after plants.

The Indo-European languages The Large Language Groups eto e French Rhomanvcenian Slovak Ukrainian R Slo Breton Serbo- Rom an Croatian Ossetic Provençal ian MaceCatalan donian Sardinia Armenian Spanish Ita Portuguese Welsh Latvian Lithuanian Danish an English rm Irish nd Scottish Gaelic The Large Language Groups The proofs that all these languages are related have been found by comparing the languages preserved in the oldest texts, such as Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, with each other and with reconstructed proto-languages such as Proto-Germanic and Proto-Slavic.

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a short history of languages by Tore Janson


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