CART

(0) items

When Languages Die : The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge

by
ISBN13:

9780195372069

ISBN10:
0195372069
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/21/2008
Publisher(s):
Oxford University Press, USA
List Price: $19.15

Rent Textbook

(Recommended)
 
Term
Due
Price
$6.03

Hurry!

Only one copy
in stock at this price.

Buy Used Textbook

In Stock Usually Ships in 24 Hours.
U9780195372069
$9.12

Buy New Textbook

Usually Ships in 3-5 Business Days
N9780195372069
$18.67

eTextbook

We're Sorry
Not Available

More New and Used
from Private Sellers
Starting at $10.00
See Prices

Questions About This Book?

Why should I rent this book?
Renting is easy, fast, and cheap! Renting from eCampus.com can save you hundreds of dollars compared to the cost of new or used books each semester. At the end of the semester, simply ship the book back to us with a free UPS shipping label! No need to worry about selling it back.
How do rental returns work?
Returning books is as easy as possible. As your rental due date approaches, we will email you several courtesy reminders. When you are ready to return, you can print a free UPS shipping label from our website at any time. Then, just return the book to your UPS driver or any staffed UPS location. You can even use the same box we shipped it in!
What version or edition is this?
This is the edition with a publication date of 7/21/2008.
What is included with this book?
  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.
  • The Used copy of this book is not guaranteed to inclue any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. You may receive a brand new copy, but typically, only the book itself.

Summary

It is commonly agreed by linguists and anthropologists that the majority of languages spoken now around the globe will likely disappear within our lifetime. The phenomenon known as language death has started to accelerate as the world has grown smaller. This extinction of languages, and the knowledge therein, has no parallel in human history. K. David Harrison's book is the first to focus on the essential question, what is lost when a language dies? What forms of knowledge are embedded in a language's structure and vocabulary? And how harmful is it to humanity that such knowledge is lost forever? Harrison spans the globe from Siberia, to North America, to the Himalayas and elsewhere, to look at the human knowledge that is slowly being lost as the languages that express it fade from sight. He uses fascinating anecdotes and portraits of some of these languages' last remaining speakers, in order to demonstrate that this knowledge about ourselves and the world is inherently precious and once gone, will be lost forever. This knowledge is not only our cultural heritage (oral histories, poetry, stories, etc.) but very useful knowledge about plants, animals, the seasons, and other aspects of the natural world--not to mention our understanding of the capacities of the human mind. Harrison's book is a testament not only to the pressing issue of language death, but to the remarkable span of human knowledge and ingenuity. It will fascinate linguists, anthropologists, and general readers.

Author Biography


K David Harrison is Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Swarthmore College. As a linguist and specialist in Siberian Turkic languages, he has spent many months in Siberia and Mongolia working with nomadic herders and studying their languages and traditions. He has also worked in India, Bolivia, the Philippines, Lithuania, and the United States. His work on endangered languages is featured in the documentary film The Linguists and was featured on the Comedy Central series The Colbert Report.

Table of Contents

A World of Many (Fewer) Voicesp. 3
An Extinction of (Ideas about) Speciesp. 23
Case Study: Vanishing Herds and Reindeer Wordsp. 57
Many Moons Ago: Traditional Calendars and Time-Reckoningp. 61
Case Study: Nomads of Western Mongoliap. 95
An Atlas in the Mindp. 101
Case Study: Wheel of Fortune and a Blessingp. 137
Silent Storytellers, Lost Legendsp. 141
Case Study: New Rice versus Old Knowledgep. 161
Endangered Number Systems: Counting to Twenty on Your Toesp. 167
Case Study: The Leaf-Cup People, India's Modern 'Primitives'p. 201
Worlds within Wordsp. 205
Notesp. 237
Bibliographyp. 263
Indexp. 285
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Please wait while the item is added to your cart...