Speak: A Short History of Languages
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Speak: A Short History of Languages

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This book is a history of human speech from prehistory to the present. It charts the rise of some languages and the fall of others, explaining why some survive and others die. It shows how languages change their sounds and meanings, and how the history of languages is closely linked to the history of peoples.
Writing in a lively, readable style, distinguished Swedish scho...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 15th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Speak, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Speak

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 163)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sara
Only for language geeks. Good, short, history of language.
Charlene
Dec 16, 2012 Charlene rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes linguistics and history
I picked this book for the purposes of getting myself ready for a historical linguistics course I'm taking next semester. I was gearing myself up for a dense read, but to my surprise, "Speak: A Short History of Languages" knocked me out and further quenched my curiosity for linguistics. It's an easy enough read for those without a background in linguistics, but has a profound depth for those who want to deepen their studies in language, human evolution and linguistics.

Aside from the historical o...more
Bookmaniac70
Тази книга не предлага никакъв флирт с читателя. Не очаквайте информацията да е гарнирана с интересни историйки, които да ви забавляват! "Кратка история на езиците" е строго научен и старомоден (в хубавия смисъл) преглед на известното на науката до този момент. До голяма степен тя предлага отговори на повечето въпроси, които всички сме си задавали: как са възникнали езиците, какво определя един език като такъв, как са се оформили днешните езикови групи, кои са факторите, които влияят на разпрост...more
Marcos Buccellato
This is a nice introductory book to language history and it´s evolution. Its easy to read and, through the examples in the book, you get a hint of how languages arise and vanish and how they are related to the events in the history of the speaking culture and their identity.
Steve
Sufficiently illuminating and enjoyable.
Andres
Linguistics is bad-ass
Tu
simple but engaging.
Mihaela
Mihaela is currently reading it
Sep 08, 2014
Daniel Threlfall
Daniel Threlfall marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
Mira
Mira marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2014
Peter Blom
Peter Blom marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
Jakk Hayes
Jakk Hayes marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2014
Lotta Kronfeldt
Lotta Kronfeldt is currently reading it
Jun 21, 2014
Anya
Anya marked it as to-read
May 24, 2014
Michellecorinne
Michellecorinne marked it as to-read
May 21, 2014
Oum Blanc
Oum Blanc marked it as to-read
May 04, 2014
Brian
Brian marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2014
Laura
Laura marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2014
Sofia
Sofia added it
Apr 27, 2014
Michael
Michael marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2014
Paul Fletcher
Paul Fletcher marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2014
Naila Tasnim
Naila Tasnim marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2014
Anita
Anita is currently reading it
Apr 06, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
291268
Tore Janson is a Swedish linguist and professor. Janson was professor of Latin at the University of Gothenburg, and later became professor of African languages at the same alma mater. He retired in 2001, but has since been affiliated with the University of Stockholm.

He devoted much of his time and publishing activities to the way how languages change as well as to the relationship between language...more
More about Tore Janson...
A Natural History of Latin Eine Kurze Geschichte Der Sprachen Germanerna: Myten, historien, språken The History of Languages: An Introduction Romerinner og romere: livet i Romerriket

Share This Book