Empires Of The Word

Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062047359
Size: 17.43 MB
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Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.

Language Empires In Comparative Perspective

Author: Christel Stolz
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110408473
Size: 48.69 MB
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The notion of empire is associated with economic and political mechanisms of dominance. For the last decades, however, there has been a lively debate concerning the question whether this concept can be transferred to the field of linguistics, specifically to research on situations of language spread on the one hand and concomitant marginalization of minority languages on the other. The authors who contributed to this volume concur as to the applicability of the notion of empire to language-related issues. They address the processes, potential merits and drawbacks of language spread as well as the marginalization of minority languages, language endangerment and revitalization, contact-induced language change, the emergence of mixed languages, and identity issues. An emphasis is on the dominance of non-Western languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and, particularly, Russian. The studies demonstrate that the emergence, spread and decline of language empires is a promising area of research, particularly from a comparative perspective.

The Last Lingua Franca

Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141922214
Size: 64.87 MB
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In this provocative and persuasive new book, Nicholas Ostler challenges our assumption that English will continue to dominate as the global lingua franca. Drawing on his encyclopaedic knowledge of world languages and their history, Ostler reveals that just as past great languages like Latin and Sanskrit have died out, so English will follow. The influence of English now is hard to exaggerate - it is the world's preferred medium for business, science and entertainment, and is claimed to be a basic educational tool like mathematics or computing. So is it here to stay? For the last four centuries, the dominant world power has been English-speaking, but the global balance of power is shifting. And in countries like Brazil, Russia and China, English plays no part in the national tradition. Although globalization has helped the rise of English, trade, migration, economic development and technological innovation are now changing the way we access and use language. Ostler shows how we are headed towards a much more multilingual and diverse future. And as English retreats, no single language will take its place. We can embrace this future but first we need to accept it: the last competitive advantage of native English-speakers will soon be consigned to history.

Salvation And Globalization In The Early Jesuit Missions

Author: Luke Clossey
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139472890
Size: 33.80 MB
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This is the first truly global study of the Society of Jesus's early missions. Up to now historians have treated the early-modern Catholic missionary project as a disjointed collection of regional missions rather than as a single world-encompassing example of religious globalization. Luke Clossey shows how the vast distances separating missions led to logistical problems of transportation and communication incompatible with traditional views of the Society as a tightly centralized military machine. In fact, connections unmediated by Rome sprung up between the missions throughout the seventeenth century. He follows trails of personnel, money, relics and information between missions in seventeenth-century China, Germany and Mexico, and explores how Jesuits understood space and time and visualized universal mission and salvation. This pioneering study demonstrates that a global perspective is essential to understanding the Jesuits and will be required reading for historians of Catholicism and the early-modern world.

Americanizing Britain

Author: Genevieve Abravanel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199942668
Size: 18.85 MB
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How did Great Britain, which entered the twentieth century as a dominant empire, reinvent itself in reaction to its fears and fantasies about the United States? Investigating the anxieties caused by the invasion of American culture-from jazz to Ford motorcars to Hollywood films-during the first half of the twentieth century, Genevieve Abravanel theorizes the rise of the American Entertainment Empire as a new style of imperialism that threatened Britain's own. In the early twentieth century, the United States excited a range of utopian and dystopian energies in Britain. Authors who might ordinarily seem to have little in common-H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf-began to imagine Britain's future through America. Abravanel explores how these novelists fashioned transatlantic fictions as a response to the encroaching presence of Uncle Sam. She then turns her attention to the arrival of jazz after World War I, showing how a range of writers, from Elizabeth Bowen to W.H. Auden, deployed the new music as a metaphor for the modernization of England. The global phenomenon of Hollywood film proved even more menacing than the jazz craze, prompting nostalgia for English folk culture and a lament for Britain's literary heritage. Abravanel then refracts British debates about America through the writing of two key cultural critics: F.R. Leavis and T.S. Eliot. In so doing, she demonstrates the interdependencies of some of the most cherished categories of literary study-language, nation, and artistic value-by situating the high-low debates within a transatlantic framework.

The English Is Coming

Author: Leslie Dunton-Downer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439176726
Size: 24.48 MB
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English has fast become the number one language for everything from business and science, diplomacy and education, entertainment and environmentalism to socializing and beyond—virtually any human activity unfolding on a global scale. Worldwide, nonnative speakers of English now outnumber natives three to one; and in China alone, more people use English than in the United States—a remarkable feat for a language that got its start as a mongrel tongue on an island fifteen hundred years ago. Through the fascinating stories of thirty English words used and understood in nearly all corners of the globe, The English Is Coming! takes readers on an eye-opening journey across culture and commerce, war and peace, and time and space. These mini-histories shed new light on everyday words: the strange turns of fate by which their meanings evolved and their new roles as the building blocks of the first language ever to forge a global community. Exploring such familiar terms as shampoo (from a Hindi word for scalp and body hygiene long practiced in India); robot (coined by Czech painter Josef Capek for his brother Karel’s 1921 play about man-made creatures); credit (rooted in a prehistoric phrase of sacred significance: "to put heart into"); and dozens of others, Dunton-Downer reveals with clarity and humor how these linguistic artifacts embody the resilience, appeal, adoptability, and wild inclusiveness that English, through a series of historical accidents, gained on its road to worldwide reach. These words explain not only how English has managed to link our distant and often disparate pasts but also how it is propelling humankind to a future that we can, for the first time, talk about and shape in a language that now belongs to all of us: Global English. Perfect for culture buffs, armchair travelers, and language lovers alike, The English Is Coming! is sure to inspire truly global conversations for decades to come.

The Guidebook To Sociolinguistics

Author: Allan Bell
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118593979
Size: 12.48 MB
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The Guidebook to Sociolinguistics presents a comprehensive introduction to the main concepts and terms of sociolinguistics, and of the goals, methods, and findings of sociolinguistic research. Introduces readers to the methodology and skills of doing hands-on research in this field Features chapter-by-chapter classic and contemporary case studies, exercises, and examples to enhance comprehension Offers wide-ranging coverage of topics across sociolinguistics. It begins with multilingualism, and moves on through language choice and variation to style and identity Takes students through the challenges involved in conducting their own research project Written by one of the leading figures in sociolinguistics

Language Planning And Student Experiences

Author: Prof. Joseph Lo Bianco
Publisher: Multilingual Matters
ISBN: 1783090065
Size: 10.27 MB
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This book is a timely comparison of the divergent worlds of policy implementation and policy ambition, the messy, often contradictory here-and-now reality of languages in schools and the sharp-edged, shiny, future-oriented representation of languages in policy. Two deep rooted tendencies in Australian political and social life, multiculturalism and Asian regionalism, are represented as key phases in the country’s experimentation with language education planning. Presenting data from a five year ethnographic study combined with a 40 year span of policy analysis, this volume is a rare book length treatment of the chasm between imagined policy and its experienced delivery, and will provide insights that policymakers around the world can draw on.

I M Not Hanging Noodles On Your Ears And Other Intriguing Idioms From Around The World

Author: Jag Bhalla
Publisher: National Geographic Books
ISBN: 1426205309
Size: 79.31 MB
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"I’m not hanging noodles on your ears." In Moscow, this curious, engagingly colorful assertion is common parlance, but unless you’re Russian your reaction is probably "Say what?" The same idea in English is equally odd: "I’m not pulling your leg." Both mean: Believe me. As author Jag Bhalla demonstrates, these amusing, often hilarious phrases provide a unique perspective on how different cultures perceive and describe the world. Organized by theme—food, love, romance, and many more—they embody cultural traditions and attitudes, capture linguistic nuance, and shed fascinating light on "the whole ball of wax." For example, when English-speakers are hard at work, we’re "nose to the grindstone," but industrious Chinese toil "with liver and brains spilled on the ground" and busy Indians have "no time to die." If you’re already fluent in 10 languages, you probably won’t need this book, but you’ll "get a kick out of it" anyhow; for the rest of us, it’s a must. Either way, this surprising, often thought-provoking little tome is gift-friendly in appearance, a perfect impulse buy for word lovers, travelers, and anyone else who enjoys looking at life in a riotous, unusual way. And we’re not hanging noodles from your ear.

Asmara An Urban History

Author: Belula Tecle-Misghina
Publisher: Edizioni Nuova Cultura
ISBN: 8868123541
Size: 40.44 MB
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Like any city, Asmara, a young city even by the standards of young African capitals, is a stage set where the drama of history has unfolded in the most intense and eloquent manner. The territory of Asmara stands at the edge of a space of almost mythical civilisations, ancient religions and proud empires. It is also a natural acropolis in the vastness of Africa, an astoundingly high crest that looks down from above on the coast of the “Eritrean” sea, coming to a halt where the Afar Rift expands and, year after year, rips into the heart of Africa where lions and gnus still roam free. However, in its body, and thus in its history, Asmara is also a fragment of Europe, imported atop the undulating highlands of Hamasien by the presumption of the most fragile and thus most presumptuous of colonial nations: Italy. Less than 130 years later history appears to have intentionally concentrated a host of events, projects, interests, delusions, conflicts and hopes in Asmara that, within the vaster expanses of historical time could have filled dozens of centuries. These metamorphoses were similar to immense waves lapping at a resistant soil, introducing and withdrawing diverse foreign armies, peoples, languages and cultures; and adversities. The results of so much labour have forged the identity of Eritrea, jealously defended for decades, and jealously guarded to this day. Looking carefully in libraries, among printed works dedicated to particular aspects of this identity – numerous and some very important – it is impossible to find a history of Eritrea that is scientifically complete and up to date. This is a serious shortcoming. Yet everything has remained impressed upon the land and, even more eloquently, on the city, on the face and limbs of Asmara. Hence the reconstruction, like that made by the author of this book, of the difficult process of planning the city signifies not only restoring, similar to an animation, the history of the complex growth of an urban organism. Lucio Valerio Barbera UNESCO Chairholder in “Sustainable Urban Qaality and Urban Culture, notably in Africa”, Sapienza Università di Roma At the end of the Thirties, from Naples to Massawa (the ‘Port of Empire’, since 1890 an important commer-cial base and natural access point for anyone wishing to reach Asmara and the Eritrean uplands), the voyage took five days; from the port one could reach the capital of the Colony by train, on an intrepid mountain rail-way, or by a motor road, Road n° 1 from Dogali – Asmara was only 120 km away. If one wanted to make the journey by air, it took three and a half days, thanks to the ‘Empire Line’, which involved taking a seaplane from the Carlo Del Prete base in Ostia to Benghazi in Libya, and then a plane to the Umberto Maddalena Airport in Asmara, with stops at Cairo, Wadi Haifa, Khartoum and Càssala, on the Sudanese border. And right next door to the Airport stood the Teleferica Massawa-Asmara, an extraordinary cableway for transporting goods up on to the plateau, at a height difference of 2,326 metres; the cableway had been built in two years, between 1935 and 1937, and at a length of 75 km, was the longest industrial cableway system in the world. It could move in one day the equivalent of thirty train loads, but it was at its full operational capacity for only a few years: in 1941 it was damaged in the war with the British, and ten years later, when Eritrea became a British Protectorate, it was unexpectedly decided to dismantle it. capital of the new country. These events act as a backdrop and form a solid framework for Tecle Misghina’s research – which is not only meticulous but emotionally involved – of which this book is a well-documented summary. Her research is important in that it reconfigures and puts in order various documents, both known and unpublished, in order to build up a chronology and an armoury of references that are indispensable for anyone wishing to carry out further studies on the Eritrean capital. For a project developed within a Doctoral programme, this is, in my opinion, the most important outcome of her research. Piero Ostilio Rossi, Director of the Department of Architecture and Design, Sapienza Università di Roma