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Languages In The World: How History, Culture, and Politics Shape Language



Languages In The World: How History, Culture, and Politics Shape Language

Julie Tetel Andresen, Phillip M. Carter

ISBN: 978-1-118-53128-0 January 2016 Wiley-Blackwell 400 Pages


This innovative introduction outlines the structure and distribution of the world’s languages, charting their evolution over the past 200,000 years.

  • Balances linguistic analysis with socio-historical and political context, offering a cohesive picture of the relationship between language and society
  • Provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of language by drawing not only on the diverse fields of linguistics (structural, linguist anthropology, historical, sociolinguistics), but also on history, biology, genetics, sociology, and more
  • Includes nine detailed language profiles on Kurdish, Arabic, Tibetan, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, Tamil, !Xóõ (Taa), Mongolian, and Quiché
  • A companion website offers a host of supplementary materials including, sound files, further exercises, and detailed introductory information for students new to linguistics

Related Resources

Map 0.1 World map with language families xi

Figure 0.1 IPA consonants xii

Figure 0.2 IPA vowels xii

About the Website xiii

List of Maps and Figures xv

Preface xvii

Part I Linguistic Preliminaries: Approach and Theory

Introductory Note: On Language 1

1 All Languages Were Once Spanglish 3

The Mexican State of Coahuila y Tejas 3

What Is Language? 4

How Many Languages Are There? 6

How and When Did Language Get Started? 9

The Structure of Spanglish 13

Final Note: The Encounter of Spanish and English on Television in the United States 17

Exercises 18

Discussion Questions 20

Notes 20

References 21

Further Reading 21

2 The Language Loop 22

The Australian Walkabout 22

Introducing the Language Loop 23

Language and Cognition 26

Language, the World, and Culture 28

Language and Linguistic Structure 31

Language, Discourse, and Ideology 32

On Major and Minor Languages 33

Final Note: The Contingencies of Time, Place, and Biology 35

Exercises 37

Discussion Questions 37

Notes 38

References 38

Further Reading 39

3 Linguistics and Classification 40

The Role of Sanskrit in Philology 40

Of Linguistics, Philology, Linguists, and Grammarians 42

Genetic Classification 46

Areal Classification 48

Typological Classification 51

Functional Classification 55

Final Note: The Role of Sanskrit in India Today 57

Exercises 58

Discussion Questions 59

Notes 60

References 60

Further Reading 61

Part II Effects of Power

Introductory Note: On Power 63

4 Effects of the Nation-State and the Possibility of Kurdistan 65

Lines Are Drawn in the Sand 65

The Status of Language on the Eve of the Nation-State 66

The Epistemology of the Nation-State 69

The French Revolution, German Romanticism, and Print Capitalism 71

Standardization and the Instilling of Vergonha 75

Language and Individual Identity 76

What’s Race Got to Do with It? 78

The Problematic Race–Nation–Language Triad 79

Final Note: The Kurds Today – Different Places, Different Outcomes 84

Language Profile: Kurdî / [Kurdish (Indo-European)] 85

Exercises 90

Discussion Questions 91

Notes 91

References 92

Further Reading 93

5 The Development of Writing in the Litmus of Religion and Politics 94

The Story of the Qur’an 94

Magico-Religious Interpretations of the Origins of Writing 95

Steps Toward the Representation of Speech 97

Types of Writing Systems 100

Religion and the Spread of Writing Systems 105

The Always Already Intervention of Politics 108

Orality and Literacy 111

Final Note: Azerbaijan Achieves Alphabetic Autonomy 114

Language Profile: [Arabic (Afro-Asiatic)] 114

Exercises 119

Discussion Questions 122

Notes 123

References 124

Further Reading 124

6 Language Planning and Language Law: Shaping the Right to Speak 125

Melting Snow and Protests at the Top of the World 125

Language Academies: The First Enforcers 127

Another Look at Prescriptivism 129

Making Language Official: A Tale of Three Patterns 131

Language Policy and Education: A Similar Tale of Three Patterns 139

Language Planners and Language Police 144

Final Note: Choosing Death or Life 146

Language Profile: [Tibetan (Sino-Tibetan)] 147

Exercises 152

Discussion Questions 153

Notes 154

References 155

Further Reading 156

Part III Effects of Movement

Introductory Note: On Movement 159

7 A Mobile History: Mapping Language Stocks and Families 161

Austronesian Origin Stories 161

Population Genetics and Links to Language 162

A Possible Polynesian Reconstruction 166

Linguistic Reconstructions Revisited 168

Proto-Indo-European and Its Homeland 173

Other Language Stocks and Their Homelands 176

Models of Spread 183

Lost Tracks 186

Final Note: On Density and Diversity 187

Language Profile: ‘Olelo Hawai‘i [Hawaiian (Austronesian)] 187

Exercises 194

Discussion Questions 195

Notes 195

References 196

Further Reading 197

8 Colonial Consequences: Language Stocks and Families Remapped 198

Eiffel Towers in Vietnam 198

Time-Depths and Terminology 199

The Middle Kingdom: Government-Encouraged Migrations 201

Linguistic Geography: Residual Zones and Spread Zones 203

Spreading Eurasian Empires: The Persians, Mongols, Slavs, and Romans 206

Religions as First Nations and Missionaries as Colonizers 213

English as an Emergent Language Family 215

Final Note: Creoles and the Case of Krey` ol Ayisyen 218

Language Profile: Ti´eng Việt [Vietnamese (Austro-Asiatic)] 219

Exercises 223

Discussion Questions 226

Notes 226

References 228

Further Reading 229

9 Postcolonial Complications: Violent Outcomes 230

Tamil Tigers Create New Terrorist Techniques 230

What’s in a Name? Burma/Myanmar 232

Modern Sudan: The Clash of Two Colonialisms 235

The Caucasian Quasi-States: Two Types of Conflict 238

Poland’s Shifting Borders 242

Terrorism on the Iberian Peninsula: Basque and the ETA 244

Québécois Consciousness and the Turbulent 1960s 245

The Zapatista Uprising and Indigenous Languages in Chiapas 247

Final Note: The Parsley Massacre in the Dominican Republic 249

Language Profile: Tamil (Dravidian) 250

Exercises 254

Discussion Questions 255

Notes 256

References 257

Further Reading 257

Part IV Effects of Time

Introductory Note: On Time 259

10 The Remote Past: Language Becomes Embodied 261

Look There! 261

Seeking Linguistic Bedrock 262

The Primate Body and Human Adaptations to Language 263

Evolution in Four Dimensions 269

The Genetic Story 270

Grammatical Categories and Deep-Time Linguistics 275

Complexity and the Arrow of Time 279

Final Note: The Last Stone Age Man in North America 282

Language Profile: !Xóõ [Taa (Khoisan)] 283

Exercises 288

Discussion Questions 288

Notes 289

References 290

Further Reading 291

11 The Recorded Past: ‘Catching Up to Conditions’ Made Visible 292

Mongolian Horses 292

Chapter 3: The Invariable Word in English 294

Chapter 4: The Shift to Head-Marking in French 295

Chapter 5: Writing and e-Arabic 299

Chapter 6: Mongolian Cases 301

Chapter 7: Reformulating Hawaiian Identity 304

Chapter 8: Varieties of Chinese – Yesterday and Today 306

Chapter 9: Juba Arabic Pidgin, Nubi, and Other African Creoles 310

Final Note: Language Change in Progress 313

Language Profile: ìîíãîë õçë [Mongolian (Mongolic)] 315

Exercises 320

Discussion Questions 321

Notes 322

References 323

Further Reading 323

12 The Imagined Future: Globalization and the Fate of Endangered Languages 324

Gold in the Mayan Highlands 324

Beyond the Nation-State: The Globalized New Economy 325

Money Talks: What Language Does It Speak? 327

When the Language Loop Unravels 329

Language Hotspots 332

Rethinking Endangerment 334

Technology to the Rescue 336

Anishinaabemowin Revitalization in Wisconsin 339

What Is Choice? 341

Final Note: Our Advocacies 342

Language Profile: K’iche’ [Quiché (Mayan)] 342

Exercises 347

Discussion Questions 349

Notes 350

References 350

Glossary 353

Subject Index 359

Language Index 373