8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating for linguists and non-linguists alike,
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This review is from: The Unfolding Of Language (Paperback)
A brilliantly readable and accessible look at some of the forces that shape language, particularly the destructive ones that actually seem quite creative on the face of it. Guy Deutscher writes in a light, easy manner, and you find yourself covering some complex issues without even realising it as you enjoy the read.
He takes examples from all sorts of sources, travelling from reconstructed Proto-Indo-European to the Semitic Languages and to Turkish, with lots of stops on the way to illustrate the his points. The chapters covering Indo-European are actually a really nice, concise introduction to language reconstruction for anyone new to the topic, and Guy's style won't break your head while you get used to the heady concepts.
The chapter on the Semitic consonantal root is particularly fascinating and clearly put across, and the mock lecture transcript of the chapter on erosion is good fun.
All in all, a great, informative read, which doubles as pop science book and a natty intro to some big concepts in language study too.