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The only textbook of its kind, An Introduction to the Languages of the World is designed to introduce beginning linguistics students, who now typically start their study with little background in languages, to the variety of the languages of the world. It is ideal for use in courses where students have mastered the basic principles of linguistics but lack background in the broad range of language phenomena found in the world's languages, such as vowel harmony and ergative constructions. It offers students an opportunity to explore, at various levels, structures of very different, highly interesting languages without necessarily possessing a speaking or reading knowledge of these languages.
Lyovin explains the classification of languages, discussing not only genetic classification but typological and sociolinguistic classification as well. He follows this with an explication of writing systems. A chapter is devoted to each of the world's continents, with in-depth analyses of representative languages of Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and America, and a separate chapter covers pidgins and creoles. Helpful features include an appendix of nineteen maps, student exercises, and suggestions for further reading.
Anatole Lyovin is Rector of the Holy Theotokos of the Iveron Russian Orthodox Church in Honolulu, HI.
Brett Kessler is Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.
William Leben is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at Stanford University.
Table of Contents
List of Tables List of Figures Symbols and Abbreviations
1 Classification of Languages 1.1 Genetic classification 1.2 Typological classification of languages 1.3 Exercises 1.4 Suggested readings
2 Classification of Writing Systems 2.1 Typological classification of writing systems 2.2 Genetic classification of writing systems 2.3 Exercises 2.4 Suggested readings
3 Europe 3.1 Indo-European 3.2 Uralic 3.3 Caucasus area 3.4 Basque 3.5 Sketch of Russian 3.6 Sketch of Finnish 3.7 Exercises 3.8 Suggested readings
4 Asia 4.1 Altaic area 4.2 Paleosiberian area 4.3 Sino-Tibetan 4.4 Hmong-Mien 4.5 Tai-Kadai 4.6 Austroasiatic 4.7 Dravidian 4.8 Burushaski 4.9 Other languages in Asia 4.10 Sketch of Mandarin Chinese 4.11 Sketch of Classical Tibetan 4.12 Exercises 4.13 Suggested readings
5 Africa 5.1 Afro-Asiatic 5.2 Nilo-Saharan 5.3 Niger-Congo 5.4 Khoisan area 5.5 Other languages in Africa 5.6 Sketch of Modern Standard Arabic 5.7 Sketch of Swahili 5.8 Exercises 5.9 Suggested readings
6 Oceania 6.1 Austronesian 6.2 Papuan area 6.3 Australian area 6.4 Sketch of Hawaiian 6.5 Sketch of Dyirbal 6.6 Exercises 6.7 Suggested readings
7 The Americas North American area 7.1 Eskimo-Aleut 7.2 Na-Dene 7.3 Algic 7.4 Muskogean 7.5 Siouan 7.6 Iroquoian 7.7 Caddoan 7.8 Yuman 7.9 Sahaptian 7.10 Tsimshianic 7.11 Kiowa-Tanoan 7.12 Uto-Aztecan 7.13 Salishan Mesoamerican area 7.14 Oto-Manguean 7.15 Totonacan 7.16 Mixe-Zoquean 7.17 Mayan South American area 7.18 Intermediate area 7.19 Western Amazonia 7.20 Northern foothills 7.21 Andes region 7.22 Southern foothills 7.23 South 7.24 Central Amazonia 7.25 Northern Amazonia 7.26 Sketch of Central Alaskan Yup?ik 7.27 Sketch of Ayacucho Quechua 7.28 Exercises 7.29 Suggested readings
8 Language Birth, Death, and Revitalization 8.1 Mixed languages 8.2 Constructed languages 8.3 Pidgins 8.4 Creoles 8.5 Sign languages 8.6 Language endangerment and renewal 8.7 Sketch of Tok Pisin 8.8 Exercises 8.9 Suggested readings