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Compendium Worlds Lang Ed2 V1


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For this second edition of a major reference on literary language, first published in 1991, linguist/translator Campbell has added 18 new articles and expanded others, increasing the number of pages by 400. He describes the structure of over 300 languages and language families, directing his text to readers with at least a basic knowledge of linguistics. Organized alphabetically and ranging from two to ten pages, the articles present the standard outline from the first edition: introduction/headword, script, phonology, morphology and syntax, illustrative text, and bibliography. The morphology section examines major parts of speech and typical word order. To guide readers, Campbell provides a lengthy table that functions as both a table of contents and an index; typographical conventions indicate languages with their own articles and those that are covered in a language family's profile. For this edition, the bibliography has been reorganized by language to facilitate access, yet the listing is weakened by the inclusion of numerous older sources. While this work upholds the first edition's reputation for largely accurate content, general readers may prefer the more prosaic entries found in three other works: R.E. Asher's Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (Pergamon, 1993), Andrew Dalby's Dictionary of Languages (LJ 5/1/99), and Bernard Comrie's World's Major Languages (LJ 9/15/87). Another new, less expensive resource is the forthcoming Facts About the World's Languages (H.W. Wilson, 2000), which will cover 175 languages. Noting the high price and the limitations mentioned above, this title is recommended for academic and large public libraries because of its valuable descriptions of language structures.DMarianne Orme, West Lafayette, IN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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