The Language Revolution
March 2004, Polity
In this book, David Crystal, one of the world’s
authorities on language, brings together for the first time the
three major trends which he argues have fundamentally altered the
world’s linguistic ecology: first, the emergence of English
as the world’s first truly global language; second, the
crisis facing huge numbers of languages which are currently
endangered or dying; and, third, the radical effect on language of
the arrival of Internet technology.
Examining the interrelationships between these topics, Crystal
encounters a vision of a linguistic future which is radically
different from what has existed in the past, and which will make us
revise many cherished concepts relating to the way we think about
and work with languages. Everyone is affected by this linguistic
The Language Revolution will be essential reading for anyone interested in language and communication in the twenty-first century.
Introduction A new linguistic world.
Chapter 1 The future of Englishes.
Chapter 2 The future of languages.
Chapter 3 The role of the Internet.
Chapter 4 After the revolution.
Chapter 5 Language themes for the twenty-first century.
- The author has written separate books on the three separate trends involved in the language revolution, but this is the first time that he has brought them together into a single argument.
- The author is a world authority on language and widely published in the field.
- Written in a highly accessible style, the book assumes no prior knowledge of linguistics and is aimed at the general interested reader.
Soelve Ohlander, Moderna Sprak
"An interesting, idea-rich and provoking read."
"This is the first book to deal with the really important
question of “what to do next?” After the rise of
English, the endangerment of minoritized languages the world over
and the web’s tilt toward where the money is, what can we who
treasure diversity as the real human (and humanizing) condition
“do about” the continued and accelerating demise of
scores of languages every month? Crystal is a master of simplifying
(but not oversimplifying) the difficult, as well as of involving
the reader in ideas and efforts that go beyond the status quo and
good intentions. Three cheers for more of the same!'"
Joshua A. Fishman, Yeshiva University, Stanford University
and New York University
"A helpful compact overview of global language trends and their
relationship to one another."
Jean Aitchison, University of Oxford
"Crystal's insight into the current linguistic climate is
valuable, his comment on the revolutionary changes informative and
thorough, and his argument characteristically clear."
Dr. Murari Prasad, Yemen Observer Newspaper