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An unusual and authoritative 'natural history of languages' that narrates the ways in which one language has superseded or outlasted another at different times in history. / A lively, witty and controversial history of the world viewed through the rise and fall, dissemination and decimation of different languages. / Written without jargon and in a refreshingly unacademic manner, the book is designed to appeal to a wide general readership and anyone interested in the ways in which language is related to local communities and cultures. / Ostler is extremely promotable and will be available for signings and events on publication . / Sold over 4000 copies in hardback in the UK alone. / Published with a fascinating PS Section
Nicholas Ostler is a scholar and scientist of languages, who has a working knowledge of 26 languages and who, five years ago, set up the Foundation for Endangered Languages, an international organisation, to provide funding and support to document and revitilise languages in peril. With his own company Linguacubun Ltd., he regularly advises governments and corporations on policy in the field of computers and natural language processing.
'It is a compelling read, one of the most interesting books I have read in a long while ! a great book. After reading it you will never think of language in the same way again.' Guardian 'Learned and entertaining ! remarkably comprehensive as well as thought-provoking.' Observer 'Ostler is particularly good on this linguistic fragility ! This richly various book offers new insights and information for almost everyone interested in the past.' Sunday Telegraph 'A serious work of scholarship, but one that can be read from cover to cover by the amateur enthusiast!the breadth of this analysis is breathtaking ! it does its job admirably.' Spectator 'Ambitious and well-researched.' New Statesman