Kelly's Reviews > Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World

Empires of the Word by Nicholas Ostler
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's review
Sep 08, 2008

really liked it
Read in October, 2008

So many interesting and fresh ideas here. I absolutely adored the history of language in the fertile crescent and the context surrounding why some languages succeeded while others failed.

As a language junkie, this was delicious with its linguistic comparisons. The history of Sanskrit specifically was fascinating as it built up almost like a computational grammar of modern computing. Fascinating stuff for a language aged thousands of years.

Lots of interesting questions answered here that I had been curious about. Why was it that Sanskrit did not survive for being such a fascinating form of communication? Why was Arabic successful in some countries and some not, even though they are still part of Islam? How exactly did Latin die and how does this relate to the future of English?

A fascinating read and I would recommend it to any lover of language or history.

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