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A History of Language (Globalities) [Kindle Edition]

Steven Roger Fischer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It is tempting to take the tremendous rate of contemporary linguistic change for granted. What is required, in fact, is a radical reinterpretation of what language is. Steven Roger Fischer begins his book with an examination of the modes of communication used by dolphins, birds and primates as the first contexts in which the concept of 'language' might be applied. As he charts the history of language from the times of Homo erectus, Neanderthal humans and Homo sapiens through to the nineteenth century, when the science of linguistics was developed, Fischer analyses the emergence of language as a science and its development as a written form. He considers the rise of pidgin, creole, jargon and slang, as well as the effects radio and television, propaganda, advertising and the media are having on language today. Looking to the future, he shows how electronic media will continue to reshape and re-invent the ways in which we communicate.


Product Description

Review

'[a] delightful and unexpectedly accessible book ... a virtuoso tour of the linguistic world' - The Economist ' ... few who read this remarkable study will regard language in quite the same way again' - The Good Book Guide 'Steven Fischer's intriguing and ambitious study explores a vast terrain, parts of which have scarcely been charted, others examined in some depth over many years and, as he relates, many centuries. Throughout, he addresses hard questions that bear directly on fundamental and distinctive aspects of human nature and achievement. A stimulating and highly informative inquiry' - Noam Chomsky

About the Author

Steven Roger Fischer is Director of the Institute of Polynesian Languages and Literatures in Auckland, New Zealand. He is the author of A History of Writing, A History of Reading and Island at the End of the World: The Turbulent History of Easter Island, all available from Reaktion Books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1240 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books; New Ed edition (16 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005C9ICVS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #704,333 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to historical linguistics 28 Sept. 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I cannot praise this book enough. It is remarkably readable, concise, accurate and informative. Laid out in a very accessible format, it charts the principal theories of the evolution of language in its spoken and written forms. Fischer's sections on the development of modern alphabets and the historical study of language in different cultures are particularly fascinating. This book will provide a wealth of invaluable information for student linguists, and a fascinating introduction to the discipline for any interested reader. The work counts no less than Chomsky among its many admirers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fascinating and well-rounded book!

I aspire to be a multi-linguist, and reading this book has really improved my acquisition and ability to communicate in foreign languages.... even though it's a history book and has nothing to do with the actual learning of a foreign language. Dispelling myths about the origins of language, connecting the evolutionary dots and getting back to the fundamental reason why language exists (to communicate) has been inspirational as well as helpful.

My only wish is that the middle was as flowing and enjoyable to read as the beginning and end.... it would then be the perfect book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult read - but fascinating topic 15 Jun. 2011
Format:Paperback
I struggled with the writing style in this book. The topic however is absolutely marvellous! I have yet to find another book which covers such a vast field, so I would have to recommend. Please suggest an alternative if you know one!
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