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Speak: A Short History of Languages
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Speak: A Short History of Languages

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  135 Ratings  ·  13 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
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Paperback, 312 pages
Published January 15th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1997)
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Vanya Prodanova
Страхотна книга. Представя езика като жив организъм със своя хилядолетна, че даже многомилионна, история. Книгата си е чисто научна, но изключително разбираемо и леко написана. Торе Янсон има изумителна дарба да пише увлекателно научна материя. Езиците се превръщат в твой главен герой и с трепет следиш какво се случва с него през векове и континенти. Определено всеки, който изпитва любопитство, привличане или дори лек интерес към езиците и тяхната история, трябва да я прочете. Научаваш много за ...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
Sara
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Only for language geeks. Good, short, history of language.
Stine Kristin
Denne boken burde ha hett Latin og Historie: Latinens fødsel, livsløp, død og ettermæle i europeisk historie, eller Latinens historie: En [relativt] komplett historie om latinens [og greskens] utvikling gjennom tidene, da «språk» ser ut til å bety hovedsaklig latin og gresk, og «historie» vil si europeisk historie, eller historie sett i særdeleshet med europeiske øyne. 70% av innholdet i denne boka forholder seg til enten gresk, latin eller Europa.

Først av alt er denne boka forferdelig dårlig sk
...more
Sulaf Farhat
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
The title is somewhat misleading; the book is a "A Short History of EUROPEAN Languages". Other languages are only mentioned in passing and for the sole purpose of establishing connections or development patterns for the major European languages discussed.
Also, it could have been even shorter, since the author repeats himself quite often in some chapters.
All in all it was a very interesting introduction to linguistics for me. I definitely want to read more about the subject. But it was neither th
...more
Charlene
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Morwen
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, _read-2015
Etwas fluffig insgesamt, der Leser wird keinesfalls durch eine zu hohe Informationsdichte überfordert, und damit auch der letzte Depp versteht, was der Autor sagen will, wird gerne mal was zweimal gesagt.
Marcos Buccellato
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice introductory book to language history and its 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. ...more
Tu
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
simple but engaging.
Janice
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein sehr gutes Buch um den Einstieg in die Geschichte der Sprachen zu schaffen und einen groben Überblick zu bekommen!
Andres
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Linguistics is bad-ass
LOL_BOOKS
I HAVE "SPEAK: A HISTORY OF LANGUAGE" ON MY TO-READ LIST.
Steve
Apr 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: cornette
Sufficiently illuminating and enjoyable.
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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
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