Nicholas Ostler’s Empires of the Word is the first history of the world’s great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together. Empires of the Word, by Nicholas Ostler. Language is mightier than the sword. Michael Church; Wednesday 6 April 0 comments. Nicholas Ostler’s Empires of the Word is the first history of the world’s great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds.
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Empires of the Word – A review
On page 64, he says: The result was the replacement of Sanskrit by Persian as the language of administration, ironically brought about by a horse-borne army.
Filled with a lot of anecdotes in their original languages and some detailed descriptions of the structures of various languages, this is not an easy and fast read but is very fascinating and enjoyable. Specifically the section about native indian is very informative. If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donationor by contributing in other ways.
Microcosm or Distorting Mirror? Most interestingly, economic dominance and military forces are merely relevant and not determinative factors.
In a world now dominated by alphabetic languages, Chinese, based on characters, remains a pictographic tongue. And it made me want to learn Sanskrit.
Review: Empires of the Word by Nicholas Ostler | Books | The Guardian
The successes and failures of every languages depend on the totality of the circumstances. The Turkic language group is spoken by a group that extends today in broad, straight path from Turkey to the border or Mongolia. Ostler studied at Balliol College, Oxford, where he received degrees in Greek, Latin, philosophy, and economics.
Three waves of Greek spreading: Is Anybody Out There? It’s an admirable goal, but I don’t think that it really worked as intended. This is an absolutely fascinating, dreadfully boring book.
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World – Nicholas Ostler – Google Books
mepires The Goths dismembered the Roman Empire, but they still spoke the vernacular forms of Latin. It sent a shiver down my spine to read snippets of poetry written in Sumeria thousands of years ago. And because I am fascinated with language and linguistics, I’m very glad I persevered and finished the book.
Nicholas Ostler’s Empires of the Word is the first history of the world’s great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible ov the living of a common history and the telling of it.
From his rich picture of why major languages have waxed and waned, it is clear that there is no single model: Finnish is related to Hungarian, and nothing else. Yet the history of the world’s great languages has been very little told. From inside the book. Most of the modern languages of northern and central India are descendants of it as developed versions of its Prakrits colloquial dialects.
Some shared language is what binds any community together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. A Language History of the World as a grand narrative of world history from the perspective of languages. His style is to raise questions and then answer them. Chinese civilisation is highly centred and averse to disunity; like Egyptian civilisation, it owed allegiance to an emperor who enjoyed a “mandate from heaven”; and the sheer density of population in its heartlands during ancient times largely prevented “swamping” by other languages.
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The language ostller, like the language past, will be full of surprises. So while it was quite fascinating, it was not a good book to read when I was even a little sleepy. Eventually I realised one From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries Aug 04, Matthijs Krul rated it it was amazing.
There are nicjolas ways of recounting the history of the world – via the rise and fall of civilisations, the fortunes of nation states, socio-economic nicgolas and patterns, the development of technology, or the chronology of war and military prowess.
The narrative follows roughly the ch Empires of the Word: However, the title, ‘Ad Infinitum,’ refers not to this, but to his thesis that the Latin-speaking world was unconscious of its own limits, looking always back to its centre, rather than outwards.