Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 322 pages
6 Reviews
In Spoken Here, Mark Abley takes us on a world tour from the Arctic Circle to Oklahoma to Australia in a fervent quest to document some of the world's most endangered languages. His mission is urgent: Of the six thousand languages spoken in the world today, only six hundred may survive into the next century. Abley visits the exotic and frequently remote locales that are home to fading languages and constructs engaging and entertaining portraits of some of the last living speakers of these tongues. Throughout this exhilarating travelogue, he points out that the same forces that put biological species at risk -- development, globalization, loss of habitat -- are also threatening human languages, and with them, something very basic about their speakers' cultures.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ljhliesl - LibraryThing

Even better than his Prodigal Tongue, Mark Abley's explorations of diminishing (and the very occasional not-yet-diminishing) languages fascinated me from beginning (aboriginal Australian) to end ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amaraduende - LibraryThing

Despite the author having said something incredibly dumb like "I'm not a linguist but I can still write about languages... you know, like you don't have to study ANATOMY to talk about the body" I'm ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Mark Abley, an award-winning journalist, writes for the Montreal Gazette, the Times Literary Supplement, and other publications. He speaks English, French, and a little Welsh. His previous book, Spoken Here, was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Discover magazine. He won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005 for work on language change and the future.

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