Language Isolates

Author: Lyle Campbell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317610908
Release Date: 2017-10-03
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

Language Isolates explores this fascinating group of languages that surprisingly comprise a third of the world’s languages. Individual chapters written by experts on these languages examine the world's major language isolates and language isolates by geographic regions, with up-to-date descriptions of many, including previously unrecorded language isolates. Each language isolate represents a unique lineage and a unique window on what is possible in human language, making this an essential volume for anyone interested in understanding the diversity of languages and the very nature of human language. Language Isolates is key reading for professionals and students in linguistics and anthropology.

The Indo Aryan Languages

Author: Danesh Jain
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135797102
Release Date: 2007-07-26
Genre: Foreign Language Study

The Indo-Aryan languages are spoken by at least 700 million people throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands. They have a claim to great antiquity, with the earliest Vedic Sanskrit texts dating to the end of the second millennium B.C. With texts in Old Indo-Aryan, Middle Indo-Aryan and Modern Indo-Aryan, this language family supplies a historical documentation of language change over a longer period than any other subgroup of Indo-European. This volume is divided into two main sections dealing with general matters and individual languages. Each chapter on the individual language covers the phonology and grammar (morphology and syntax) of the language and its writing system, and gives the historical background and information concerning the geography of the language and the number of its speakers.

The Languages of Japan and Korea

Author: Nicolas Tranter
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9780415462877
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Foreign Language Study

The Languages of Japan and Korea provides detailed descriptions of the major varieties of languages in the region, both modern and pre-modern, within a common format, producing a long-needed introductory reference source. Korean, Japanese, Ainu, and representative members of the main groupings of the Ryukyuan chain are discussed for the first time in great detail in a single work. The volume is divided into language sketches, the majority of which are broken down into sections on phonology, orthography, morphology, syntax and lexicon. Specific emphasis is placed on aspects of syntactic interest, including speech levels, honorifics and classifiers. Each language variety is represented in Roman-based transcription, although its own script (where there is such orthography) and IPA transcriptions are used sparingly where appropriate. The dialects of both the modern and oldest forms of the languages are given extensive treatment, with a primary focus on the differences from the standard language. These synchronic snapshots are complemented by a discussion of both the genetic and areal relationships between languages in the region. With contributions from a variety of scholars of the highest reputation, The Language of Japan and Korea is a much needed and highly useful tool for professionals and students in linguistics, as well as area studies specialists.

The Austronesian Languages of Asia and Madagascar

Author: K Alexander Adelaar
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136755095
Release Date: 2013-03-07
Genre: Foreign Language Study

Some 800 Austronesian languages are spoken in the area extending from Madagascar to eastern Indonesia and to the north to Taiwan and the Philippines. They vary greatly in almost every possible respect, including the size and social make-up of the speech communities and their typological profiles. This book is designed to serve as a reference work and in-depth introduction to these languages, providing a source of basic information for linguists and other professionals concerned with this area. It highlights the cultural and linguistic diversity of this group of languages while at the same time keeping track of their common heritage. Five introductory articles on linguistic history, language politics, language endangerment, ritual speech and special registers, and major typological features have the entire area in their scope and provide a balanced and up-to-date discussion of the major issues. The core of the volume consists of grammatical sketches of twenty languages plus three chapters dealing with different aspects of Malay (Old Malay, Malayic varieties and Colloquial Indonesian), representing a good cross-section of the linguistic diversity found in the area.

The Dravidian Languages

Author: Rosenblatt Louis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136911644
Release Date: 2015-04-15
Genre: FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY

The Dravidian language family is the world's fourth largest with over 175 million speakers across South Asia from Pakistan to Nepal, from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka as well as having communities in Malaysia, North America and the UK. Four of the languages, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu are official national languages and the Dravidian family has had a rich literary and cultural influence. This authoritative reference source provides unique descriptions of 12 of these languages, covering their historical development alongside discussions of their specialised linguistic structures and features. Each chapter combines modern linguistic theory with traditional historical linguistics and a uniform structure allows for easy typological comparison between the individual languages. Two further chapters provide general information about the language family - the introduction, which covers the history, cultural implications and linguistic background, and a separate article on Dravidian writing systems. This volume includes languages from all 4 of the Dravidian family's subgroupings: South Dravidian e.g. Tamil, Kannada; South Central Dravidian e.g. Telugu, Konda; Central Dravidian e.g. Kolami; North Dravidian e.g. Brahui, Malto. Written by a team of expert contributors, many of whom are based in Asia, each language chapter offers a detailed analysis of phonology, morphology, syntax and followed by a list of the most relevant further reading to aid the independent scholar. The Dravidian Languages will be invaluable to students and researchers within linguistics and will also be of interest to readers in the fields of comparative literature, South Asian studies and Oriental studies.

The Mayan Languages

Author: Judith Aissen
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781351754804
Release Date: 2017-05-12
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

The Mayan Languages presents a comprehensive survey of the language family associated with the Classic Mayan civilization (AD 200–900), a family whose individual languages are still spoken today by at least six million indigenous Maya in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This unique resource is an ideal reference for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of Mayan languages and linguistics. Written by a team of experts in the field, The Mayan Languages presents in-depth accounts of the linguistic features that characterize the thirty-one languages of the family, their historical evolution, and the social context in which they are spoken. The Mayan Languages: provides detailed grammatical sketches of approximately a third of the Mayan languages, representing most of the branches of the family; includes a section on the historical development of the family, as well as an entirely new sketch of the grammar of "Classic Maya" as represented in the hieroglyphic script; provides detailed state-of-the-art discussions of the principal advances in grammatical analysis of Mayan languages; includes ample discussion of the use of the languages in social, conversational, and poetic contexts. Consisting of topical chapters on the history, sociolinguistics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse structure, and acquisition of the Mayan languages, this book will be a resource for researchers and other readers with an interest in historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology, language acquisition, and linguistic typology.

The Iranian Languages

Author: Gernot Windfuhr
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135797034
Release Date: 2013-05-13
Genre: Foreign Language Study

The Iranian languages form the major eastern branch of the Indo-European group of languages, itself part of the larger Indo-Iranian family. Estimated to have between 150 and 200 million native speakers, the Iranian languages constitute one of the world’s major language families. This comprehensive volume offers a detailed overview of the principle languages which make up this group: Old Iranian, Middle Iranian, and New Iranian. The Iranian Languages is divided into fifteen chapters. The introductory chapters by the editor present a general overview and a detailed discussion of the linguistic typology of Iranian. The individual chapters which follow are written by leading experts in the field. These provide the reader with concise, non-technical descriptions of a range of Iranian languages. Each chapter follows the same pattern and sequence of topics, taking the reader through the significant features not only of phonology and morphology but also of syntax; from phrase level to complex sentences and pragmatics. Ample examples on all levels are provided with detailed annotation for the non-specialist reader. In addition, each chapter covers lexis, sociolinguistic and typological issues, and concludes with annotated sample texts. This unique resource is the ideal companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students of linguistics and language. It will also be of interest to researchers or anyone with an interest in historical linguistics, linguistics anthropology and language development. Gernot Windfuhr is Professor of Iranian Studies at the University of Michigan; he has published widely on Persian and Iranian languages and linguistics and related languages, as well as on other aspects of Iranian culture including Persian literature and Pre-Islamic Iranian religions.

Language Isolates

Author: Stefan Georg
Publisher:
ISBN: 0415827345
Release Date: 2014-10-15
Genre: Foreign Language Study

This new four-volume collection from Routledge brings together the major works of scholarship concerned with the 'language isolates' of the world. 'Isolated' languages are languages without any known relatives, languages which are not demonstrably part of any 'language family', with Etruscan, Basque, and Ainu being arguably some of the best-known examples of such 'linguistic orphans'. The language-specific materials collected here are arranged geographically, and each language-chapter is preceded by a short introduction to the linguistic situation of the language(es) involved and, if not given in anthologized works themselves, to the current state of research and past and present scholarly debates. The volumes are preceded by a problem-oriented general introduction, which deals with the basic concepts and methodological principles of language classification, the present state and the nature of ongoing controversies, an epistemiological typology of language families, and, in the light of this, a theoretical justification of the concept of isolates as well as the choice of languages covered in the volumes. Some of the gathered works are general introductions to their object language (in terms of sociolinguistics, attestation, documentation, history of scholarship, guides to published studies, overviews of linguistic characteristics), others highlight and discuss particularly salient and interesting typological characteristics of an isolate (some of them are breakthrough studies for the understanding of a particular language), and others focus on the very status of the language under discussion as an isolate in the first place. Some isolated languages are still very much alive; at least one of them, Korean, is a major national language. The majority of the languages and small families covered here are endangered, and some will certainly cease to be used during the coming decades. Thus, isolated languages are particularly interesting objects for students of language endangerment, but they are also prime research objects for linguistic descriptionists, for, when they are gone, not only will another of the 6,000 or so human languages have disappeared, but, in those cases, whole linguistic lineages (and their ways of coping with the world) will be gone forever.

The Khoesan Languages

Author: Rainer Vossen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136191770
Release Date: 2013-03-05
Genre: Foreign Language Study

The Routledge Language Family series is aimed at undergraduates and postgraduates of linguistics and language, and those with an interest in historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology and language development. According to a widely accepted hypothesis, the Khoesan languages represent the smallest of the four language phyla in Africa, geographically distributed mainly in Botswana and Namibia. Today, only 30 or so Khoesan languages may still exist, with about 300,000 native speakers. In other words, most Khoesan languages were already extinct before a sound scholarly interest in them could begin to develop. Drawing together a distinguished group of international experts, with much of the material taken from data collected by the authors’ own field work, this volume presents descriptive, typological, historical-comparative and sociolinguistic material on Khoesan. The Khoesan Languages contains eight sections: an introduction, an overview of genetic relationships, a typological survey and profile of Khoesan, four chapters covering core linguistic areas of Khoesan phonetics and phonology, tonology, morphology and syntax, and a final chapter tackling major issues in Khoesan sociolinguistics, as well as discussions of language contact. Comprehensive and scholarly, yet also lucid in its coverage of a broad range of languages, dialects and sub-groups, this unprecedented and original work represents the current state of Khoesan linguistics.

Encyclopedia of the World s Endangered Languages

Author: Christopher Moseley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135796402
Release Date: 2008-03-10
Genre: Foreign Language Study

The concern for the fast-disappearing language stocks of the world has arisen particularly in the past decade, as a result of the impact of globalization. This book appears as an answer to a felt need: to catalogue and describe those languages, making up the vast majority of the world's six thousand or more distinct tongues, which are in danger of disappearing within the next few decades. Endangerment is a complex issue, and the reasons why so many of the world's smaller, less empowered languages are not being passed on to future generations today are discussed in the book's introduction. The introduction is followed by regional sections, each authored by a notable specialist, combining to provide a comprehensive listing of every language which, by the criteria of endangerment set out in the introduction, is likely to disappear within the next few decades. These languages make up ninety per cent of the world's remaining language stocks. Each regional section comprises an introduction that deals with problems of language preservation peculiar to the area, surveys of known extinct languages, and problems of classification. The introduction is followed by a list of all known languages within the region, endangered or not, arranged by genetic affiliation, with endangered and extinct languages marked. This listing is followed by entries in alphabetical order covering each language listed as endangered. Useful maps are provided to pinpoint the more complex clusters of smaller languages in every region of the world. The Encyclopedia therefore provides in a single resource: expert analysis of the current language policy situation in every multilingual country and on every continent, detailed descriptions of little-known languages from all over the world, and clear alphabetical entries, region by region, of all the world's languages currently thought to be in danger of extinction. The Encyclopedia of the World’s Endangered Languages will be a necessary addition to all academic linguistics collections and will be a useful resource for a range of readers with an interest in development studies, cultural heritage and international affairs.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory

Author: David HERMAN
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134458400
Release Date: 2010-06-10
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

The past several decades have seen an explosion of interest in narrative, with this multifaceted object of inquiry becoming a central concern in a wide range of disciplinary fields and research contexts. As accounts of what happened to particular people in particular circumstances and with specific consequences, stories have come to be viewed as a basic human strategy for coming to terms with time, process, and change. However, the very predominance of narrative as a focus of interest across multiple disciplines makes it imperative for scholars, teachers, and students to have access to a comprehensive reference resource.

The World s Major Languages

Author: Bernard Comrie
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317290490
Release Date: 2018-04-17
Genre: Foreign Language Study

The World's Major Languages features over 50 of the world's languages and language families. This revised edition includes updated bibliographies for each chapter and up-to-date census figures. 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. The World’s Major Languages is an accessible and essential reference work for linguists.

The Uralic Languages

Author: Daniel Abondolo
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136135002
Release Date: 2015-04-08
Genre: Foreign Language Study

This book provides a unique, up-to-date survey of individual Uralic languages and sub-groupings from Finnish to Selkup. Spoken by more than 25 million native speakers, the Uralic languages have important cultural and social significance in Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as in immigrant communitites throughout Europe and North America. The introductory chapter gives an overview of the Uralic language family and is followed by 18 chapter-length descriptions of each language or sub-grouping, giving an analysis of their history and development as well as focusing on their linguistic structures. Written by internationally recognised experts and based on the most recent scholarship available, the volume covers major languages - including the official national languages of Estonia, Finland and Hungary - and rarely-covered languages such as Mordva, Nganasan and Khanty. The 18 language chapters are similarly-structured, designed for comparative study and cover phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon. Those on individual languages also have sample text where available. Each chapter includes numerous tables to support and illustrate the text and bibliographies of the major references for each language to aid further study. The volume is comprehensively indexed. This book will be invaluable to language students, experts requiring concise but thorough information on related languages and anyone working in historical, typological and comparative linguistics.

Yeniseian Peoples and Languages

Author: Edward J. Vajda
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136837333
Release Date: 2013-07-04
Genre: Social Science

The Kets of Central Siberia are perhaps the most enigmatic of Siberia's aboriginal tribes. Today numbering barely 1,100 souls living in several small villages on the middle reaches of the Yenisei, the Kets have retained much of their ancient culture, as well as their unique language. Genetic studies of the Ket hint at an ancient affinity with Tibetans, Burmese, and other peoples of peoples of South East Asia not shared by any other Siberian people. The Ket language, which is unrelated to any other living Siberian tongue, also appears to be a relic of a bygone linguistic landscape of Inner Asia. Because language isolates such as Ket are of special value to scholars of the original peopling of the continents, linguists have recently attempted to link Ket with North Caucasian, Sino- Tibetan, Burushaski, Basque and Na Dene. None of these links have been proved to the satisfaction of all linguists, and the research continues both in Russia and abroad.