This volume features over 50 of the world's languages and language families. The featured languages have been chosen based on the number of speakers, their role as official languages and their cultural and historical importance. Each language is looked at in depth, and the chapters provide information on both grammatical features and on salient features of the language's history and cultural role. This second edition has been updated and revised. Two new languages, Amharic and Javanese, have been included. This accessible volume will appeal to anyone with an interest in linguistics.
This is a treasury of authoritative yet concise information about major languages and language families. The emphasis is on Indo-European, over half the book being devoted to that family. Each of the 50 chapters is written by an expert in that field. Phonology, morphology, and syntax are discussed, and, where appropriate, the writing system. Some chapters, such as that on Chinese, are very lucid and accessible to the non-expert; others are more difficult. This is not a book for beginners, and specialists will have more detailed treatments at their disposal. Its best use would seem to be in an academic reference collection, for the scholar to dip into to refresh his or her memory of a language once studied, or to get a birds-eye view of a language not studied. Includes a language index and bibliographies. Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stonybrook Lib.