Empires of the Word
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Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World

4.04 (1,964 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 615 pages
  • 134.62 x 203.2 x 30.48mm | 498.95g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0060935723
  • 9780060935726
  • 30,925

Review Text

"[A] wide-ranging history of the world's languages... [Ostler] brilliantly raises questions and supplies answers or theories." Washington Post
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Review quote

A work of immense erudition. --Christian Science Monitor"
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About Nicholas Ostler

A scholar with a working knowledge of twenty-six languages, Nicholas Ostler has degrees from Oxford University in Greek, Latin, philosophy, and economics, and a Ph.D. in linguistics from MIT, where he studied under Noam Chomsky. He lives in Bath, England.
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Rating details

1,964 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 37% (732)
4 37% (718)
3 20% (401)
2 4% (87)
1 1% (26)
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