Languages of the World

Languages of the World : An Introduction

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What do all human languages have in common and in what ways are they different? How can language be used to trace different peoples and their past? Are certain languages similar because of common descent or language contact? Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, this textbook introduces readers to the rich diversity of human languages, familiarizing students with the variety and typology of languages around the world. Linguistic terms and concepts are explained, in the text and in the glossary, and illustrated with simple, accessible examples. Eighteen language maps and numerous language family charts enable students to place a language geographically or genealogically. A supporting website includes additional language maps and sound recordings that can be used to illustrate the peculiarities of the sound systems of various languages. 'Test yourself' questions throughout the book make it easier for students to analyze data from unfamiliar more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 20 b/w illus. 18 maps 37 tables
  • 1139026178
  • 9781139026178

Review quote

'This comprehensive and highly informative book offers a plethora of intriguing, richly documented facts. Written in an easy style, it is a great read for both beginning and advanced-level students and lay persons.' Edith Moravcsik, Professor Emerita of Linguistics, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 'A lively and engaging introduction to the richness and diversity of the world's languages.' Greville G. Corbett, University of Surrey 'An essential text for anyone interested in family relationships between languages and a good read to boot.' The Times Higher Education Supplementshow more

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Indo-European languages; 3. Non-Indo-European languages of Europe and India; 4. Languages of the Caucasus; 5. Languages of North Africa, Middle East, and Central Asia; 6. Languages of sub-Saharan Africa; 7. Languages of eastern Asia; 8. Languages of the South Sea islands; 9. Aboriginal languages of Australia and Papua New Guinea; 10. Native languages of the Americas; 11. Macro families; 12. Pidgins, Creoles and other mixed more

Rating details

47 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 19% (9)
4 49% (23)
3 21% (10)
2 9% (4)
1 2% (1)
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