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Spoken Here : Travels Among Threatened Languages epub

by Mark Abley


Spoken Here : Travels Among Threatened Languages epub

ISBN: 0434011533

ISBN13: 978-0434011537

Author: Mark Abley

Category: Reference

Subcategory: Words Language & Grammar

Language: English

Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd (December 31, 2003)

Pages: 320 pages

ePUB book: 1602 kb

FB2 book: 1537 kb

Rating: 4.1

Votes: 476

Other Formats: rtf lit lrf mobi





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

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.

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This generous, sorrow-tinged book is an informative and eloquent reminder of a richness that may not exist much longer.

Originally published: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Includes bibliographical references (pages 283-297) and index

Originally published: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Includes bibliographical references (pages 283-297) and index. from publisher description.

Abley seems to have been everywhere and spoken to everyone

Abley seems to have been everywhere and spoken to everyone.

New York: Mariner Books. Besides, even if Spoken Here is written in a journalistic and rather colloquial style, its au- thor has carried out such in-depth documentation that his arguments only rarely stray into imprecision or naivety.

In Spoken Here, Mark Abley takes us on a world tour from the Arctic Circle to Oklahoma to Australia in a fervent quest to. .

New. York: Mariner Books. e author of Spoken Here is not a linguist, but a Canadian journalist writing for. the Montreal Gazette, the Times Literary Supplement and other publications.

Along the way he reveals delicious linguistic oddities and shows what is lost when one of the world's six thousand tongues dies. 27 people like this topic

Along the way he reveals delicious linguistic oddities and shows what is lost when one of the world's six thousand tongues dies. 27 people like this topic.

Mark Abley, a winner of Canada’s National Newspaper Award, writes for the Times Literary Supplement, the Montreal Gazette and other publications

Mark Abley, a winner of Canada’s National Newspaper Award, writes for the Times Literary Supplement, the Montreal Gazette and other publications. He speaks English, French and a little Welsh. Библиографические данные.

Half the world's languages are threatened with extinction over the next century, as English and the rest of the world's top twenty languages drive all before them. What ways of looking at the world will die along with them, what cultural riches, what experiences, histories and memories? And how does it feel to be one of the last remaining speakers of a languages that is on its way to extinction? What chance is there of saving any of these languages? And is it feasible in the long term or even worthwhile? Mark Abley's journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink takes him to aboriginal Australia (where he meets the last surviving fluent male speaker of Mati Ke, who cannot speak to the only other fluent speaker, as she is his sister and in their culture it is forbidden to speak to siblings once one has reached puberty), and to American Indian reservations, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back - Wales, the Faeroe islands, the Isle of Man - as well as charting the triumphant return of Hebrew.
Having read the professional reviews I was eager to get this book. I then read through the Amazon reader reviews and almost changed my mind. Glad I didn't. I won't say that none of the readers' criticisms are valid (see entries below), but I think it's too easy to fall into the Princess and the Pea mindset when evaluating "somebody else's" work. A reader owes it to the writer to try to understand the writer's angle (yes, everybody has one), then evaluate the work based on that, not whether or not it is the same as your own. Hence, what Abley does well is to take you around the globe to sample life in remote areas where native languages are severely threatened. He doesn't just address the language itself, but shows why the language matters . . . showing glimpses of residents' lives, filling out "issues" with flesh and blood. The end result is a mix of travelogue and commentary on linguistic food chain processes. If you have read extensively in this area, this may not be the best choice for you because it does not offer great depth in any one area. If, however, you read widely and wish for a volume that helps to "connect the dots" on important and evolving issues across the globe, then this book is likely to please.
This is a very important wake up call regarding the (mostly indigenous) languages whose very existence are at serious risk of extinction. How many have already disappeared since the book was first published is anyone's guess? It's sad that this is happening and it's important to be aware of this. I highly recommend this work.
In Wulai, the aboriginal village I live in, the cutoff is in the twenties. Those over thirty speak Tayal (also Atayal; an Austronesian language of Taiwan) as their first language. Those under twenty understand it pretty well, but rarely speak more than a few phrases. I make a point of speaking to children in my rudimentary Tayal, so they can practice ¡V and show off - without the embarrassment of being caught making a mistake. I nag parents to encourage their children to speak Tayal: if you don't, a tradition of over six thousand years will die with you. Several tribal elders have asked me to teach them how to write Tayal in roman letters. Children are elated to see their grandparents struggling with pen and paper, and this encourages them to repeat what their elders are saying. The administration started Tayal classes in Wulai Elementary, but I hear funding is being cut now that the Party feels one hour of Tayal a week is not going to bring them votes. Tayal is losing ground to Mandarin. What is to be done?
What is to be done? Spoken Here is practically a handbook for me, of things I can try, things I can avoid, in my personal crusade to impress Tayal on the next generation. The author is alert to cant, dogma, and dead-end thinking, so the reader can see the fallacies of certain viewpoints. The writing is fluid and informative. His sympathy to the speakers of these languages makes their plights come alive.
I wish books like this came with a CD. Looking at the word Tayal, did you have any clue that it is pronounced dah-YEN? If I write a Tayal word such as qsnuw or mksingut, does that give you any idea of how to pronounce it? I would love to hear what Yuchi, Wangkajunga, or Mohawk actually sound like (although a friend who has been there told me Welsh sounds like angry geese). I have listened to a couple Australian Aboriginal languages by tracking down their websites, which raises my main ¡V albeit minor - complaint about this book. In the Sources, he tells us things like "see the Web site of the Maori Language Commission" or "All these organizations have web sites." It would have burdened him very little, and given the book completeness, if he had taken the trouble to provide the http addresses for those sites!
Although there is admittedly some small bias in Mark Abley's writing, he presents a well written narrative with an easy to follow, compelling story line. He makes the subject exciting and easily relatable to those of us who don't have linguistics training.

I am now compelled, as an English speaker, to get out there and learn another language. I was especially interested in his discussion of language as a vehicle of thought and how the expression of other languages can teach us so much about thinking of the world through different eyes.
Of all of the many fine loss of language books that I have reviewed here--all great and nothing but praise--this book is a the top of my list. I think you may well come to the same conclusion. But remember, this is such an important and complex subject, that we really cannot have enough books written on it for it is an inexhaustible subject of tremendous importance.
A great book. I highly recommend it to anyone with a curiosity for languages or an interest in different ways of viewing our world. And very easy to read.
very interesting