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A History of Language (Globalities) Hardcover – 11 Nov 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books; hardcover edition (11 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861890516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861890511
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.8 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,691,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Sep 2003
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 By TyLean Polley on 18 Oct 2011
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 By Cheapskate on 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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