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    The Last Lingua Franca: The Rise and Fall of World Languages (Paperback) By (author) Nicholas Ostler

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    DescriptionA revelatory and exhilarating tour de force, Nicholas Ostler's "The Last Lingua Franca: The Rise and Fall of World Languages" explores the rise of a linguistic diversity we could never before have imagined. In the twenty-first century, can we really take the dominance of English for granted? In their time, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Sanskrit and Persian have each been world languages, sweeping the globe for centuries at a time. And yet they have all been displaced, just as Nicholas Ostler predicts English will be. What forces drive these linguistic currents? What characteristics do lingua francas share? And most importantly, how do they lose their power? "Frequently jaw-dropping and never less than convincing". (Henry Hitchings, "Financial Times"). "Sweepingly learned and engagingly garrulous". ("Sunday Times"). "A much-needed challenge to conventional wisdom". ("Guardian"). "A linguist of astonishing voracity ...the predictions are striking". ("Economist"). Nicholas Ostler is the author of "Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World" and "Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin". He studied Greek, Latin and Philosophy at the University of Oxford and holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT. With a working knowledge of twenty-six languages, Nicholas now runs an institute for the protection of endangered languages.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Last Lingua Franca

    Title
    The Last Lingua Franca
    Subtitle
    The Rise and Fall of World Languages
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Nicholas Ostler
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 352
    Width: 129 mm
    Height: 198 mm
    Thickness: 20 mm
    Weight: 260 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781846142161
    ISBN 10: 1846142164
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: LAN
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S1.5
    Ingram Subject Code: LA
    DC22: 420.9
    BIC subject category V2: CBX
    BISAC V2.8: LAN009010
    Thema V1.0: CBX
    Publisher
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Imprint name
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Publication date
    03 November 2011
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Nicholas Ostler is the author of Empires of the World: A Language History of the World and Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin. He studied Greek, Latin and Philosophy at the University of Oxford and holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT. With a working knowledge of twenty-six languages, Nicholas now runs an institute for the protection of endangered languages.
    Review quote
    Frequently jaw-dropping and never less than convincing -- Henry Hitchings Financial Times A linguist of astonishing voracity ... the predictions are striking Economist Extensive and engaging...A sweepingly learned and garrulous guide to historical curiosities -- James McConnachie Sunday Times A wide-ranging linguistic perspective. -- Robert McCrum The Observer As Nicholas Ostler exhaustively documents...history shows that no language will dominate the world conversation forever...More provocatively, Ostler argues that, once the dominance of English has waned, no lingua franca will replace it. -- Jonathon Keats New Scientist A thorough analysis of the rise and fall of different lingua francas, Ostler provides us with a series of rich examples showing how these 'common languages' achieve prominence and how they subsequently, and inevitably, lose this, left to shrivel for use only as mother tongues. -- Colin Fraser Scotsman