Book Reviews of Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World

Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World
Empires of the Word A Language History of the World
Author: Nicholas Ostler
ISBN-13: 9780060935726
ISBN-10: 0060935723
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Pages: 640
Edition: Reprint
Rating:
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 4

4.6 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World on + 46 more book reviews
If you've read, and enjoyed, Guns, Germs, and Steel, this book is a wonderful companion. Empires of the Word looks at the history of the world's civilizations from the perspective of languages and their speakers.
reviewed Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World on + 16 more book reviews
This is one of the best nonfiction books I've read. It discusses the factors leading to the rise(and fall) of about two dozen different world languages. It takes on the cliche that empires spread languages and finds that while that is sometimes true it isn't always and that other factors like trade or religion figure prominently into the spread and maintenance of languages over time. I found the chapter on the spread of Arabic interesting in its description of how the help it got from spreading over a substrate of related languages was considerable in allowing it to not only spread, but maintain its gains for centuries. It even gives you a bit of a feel for the "personalities" of the languages. It is a must-have for word-nerds, especially those interested in history.
reviewed Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World on
An interesting "popular linguistics" take on language evolution.
reviewed Empires of the Word : A Language History of the World on + 46 more book reviews
If you've read, and enjoyed, Guns, Germs, and Steel, this book is a wonderful companion. Empires of the Word looks at the history of the world's civilizations from the perspective of languages and their speakers.