John Wiley & Sons Words of Wonder Cover A gripping and moving text which explores the wealth of human language diversity, how deeply it matt.. Product #: 978-1-119-75875-4 Regular price: $37.29 $37.29 Auf Lager

Words of Wonder

Endangered Languages and What They Tell Us

Evans, Nicholas

The Language Library

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2. Auflage Mai 2022
320 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-75875-4
John Wiley & Sons

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A gripping and moving text which explores the wealth of human language diversity, how deeply it matters, and how we can best turn the tide of language endangerment

In the new, thoroughly revised second edition of Words of Wonder: Endangered Languages and What They Tell Us, Second Edition (formerly called Dying Words: Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us), renowned scholar Nicholas Evans delivers an accessible and incisive text covering the impact of mass language endangerment. The distinguished author explores issues surrounding the preservation of indigenous languages, including the best and most effective ways to respond to the challenge of recording and documenting fragile oral traditions while they're still with us.

This latest edition offers an entirely new chapter on new developments in language revitalisation, including the impact of technology on language archiving, the use of social media, and autodocumentation by speakers. It also includes a number of new sections on how recent developments in language documentation give us a fuller picture of human linguistic diversity. Seeking to answer the question of why widespread linguistic diversity exists in the first place, the book weaves in portraits of individual "last speakers" and anecdotes about linguists and their discoveries. It provides access to a companion website with sound files and embedded video clips of various languages mentioned in the text. It also offers:
* A thorough introduction to the astonishing diversity of the world's languages
* Comprehensive exploration of how the study of living languages can help us understand deep human history, including the decipherment of unknown texts in ancient languages
* Discussions of the intertwining of language, culture and thought, including both fieldwork and experimental studies
* An introduction to the dazzling beauty and variety of oral literature across a range of endangered languages
* In-depth examinations of the transformative effect of new technology on language documentation and revitalisation

Perfect for undergraduate and graduate students studying language endangerment and preservation and for any reader who wants to discover what the full diversity of the world's languages has to teach us, Words of Wonder: Endangered Languages and What They Tell Us, Second Edition, will earn a place in the libraries of linguistics, anthropology, and sociology scholars with a professional or personal interest in endangered languages and in the full wealth of the world's languages.

Words of Wonder - Contents



Preface to the Second Edition vi


Acknowledgments for the First Edition ix


Prologue xiv


About the Companion Website xx


Part I The Library of Babel 1


1 Warramurrungunji's Children 5


2 Four Millennia to Tune In 24


Part II A Great Feast of Languages 45


3 A Galapagos of Tongues 49


4 Your Mind in Mine: Social Cognition in Grammar 70


Part III Faint Tracks in an Ancient Wordscape: Languages and Deep World History 83


5 Sprung from Some Common Source 85


6 Travels in the Logosphere: Hooking Ancient Words onto Ancient Worlds 105


7 Keys to Decipherment: How Living Languages Can Unlock Forgotten Scripts 129


Part IV Ratchetting Up Each Other: The Coevolution of Language, Culture, and Thought 153


8 Trellises of the Mind: How Language Trains Thought 157


9 What Verse and Verbal Art Can Weave 185


Part V On the Brink 205


10 Listening While We Can 207


Part VI Afterword 231


Epilogue: In the Shade of the Casuarina 233


Outro: Reawakening the Word 236


References 255


Maps 257


Index of Languages and Language Families 280


Index 286
Nicholas Evans is Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at the Australian National University and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language and the Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative. He has published over 200 scientific publications, including nine monographs and nine edited books, and taught courses on linguistic typology, semantics, field methods, Australian and Papuan languages, and more.

N. Evans, Australian National University, Australia