- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 41 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 4 Mar. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BP2LL0U
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Languages Audio Download – Unabridged
Top Customer Reviews
Little notes that there is a surprising variety of languages in the United States. In New York City alone, hundreds of languages are spoken.
She begins the road trip with Native American languages. She finds that most of them are on their last legs as living languages, and this turns out to be one of the themes for the book. Digging into the history of Native American languages, she finds that there's a disturbing pattern of language discrimination of the sort that occurred when Native American children were discouraged from speaking their home languages. Discouragement often took the form of physical punishment as well as creating a sense of shame about the language. It's what Newt Gingrich would call "the language of the ghetto."
Little finds similar language discrimination in the history of Creole language in Louisiana and Gullah in Georgia. This leads her to conclude that "the history of language in America is ... ultimately a history of language loss."
It's hard to disagree with her conclusion and that language discrimination that takes cruel forms is reprehensible. But not all language change in America has been involuntary. Little is disappointed that descendants of Basque immigrants in Nevada speak only a few words of Basque. Yet she acknowledges that she has never felt compelled to learn Norwegian, the language of her own immigrant ancestors.Read more ›