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The World's Major Languages


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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.

A magnificent piece of scholarship and editorical assembling, at--considering what books cost today--a surprisingly low price.--R.M.R. Hall, Queens College, CUNY
This is the most thorough survey of languages and language families that I have seen which is suitable for undergraduate courses. The scholarship offers models to emulate while the selection of language groups and contributors can only serve to broaden multi-cultural awareness in students.--Patricia S. Burton, Northeast Missouri State University
The best extant survey on the subject. It would be an excellent text for a course on world languages, or even one in general linguistics.--William E. McMahon, University of Akron
The amount and quality of historical, sociological, and linguistic information presented in typical chapters dealing with a given language are amazing. Most chapters also include extensive descriptions of the phonological and graphic systems, morphology, word-formation, syntactic patterns, and characteristic features of the lexicon. For inflected languages, detailed and synoptic charts of major declension and conjugation classes are provided....This unique work is an important and reliable source of extensive knowledge about particular languages and their families.--American Reference Books Annual
This impressive volume supersedes similar ones...in its treatment of families of languages and individual idioms.--Language Problems and Language Planning
An excellent survey....The volume is recommended as a standard reference for all institutional libraries and for general readers.--Choice
A treasury of authoritative yet concise information about major languages and language families.--Library Journal
A substantial resource on modern languages....Recommended for all academic and large public libraries.--The Reference Book Review

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