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Spoken Here : Travels Among Threatened Languages
Spoken Here Travels Among Threatened Languages
Author: Mark Abley
In Spoken Here, Mark Abley journeys around the world seeking out languages in peril -- Manx, Mohawk, Boro, Yiddish, and many more. Along the way he reveals delicious linguistic oddities and shows us what is lost when one of the world's six thousand tongues dies -- an irreplaceable worldview and a wealth of practical knowledge. He also examines t...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780618236497
ISBN-10: 061823649X
Publication Date: 8/6/2003
Pages: 336
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 2
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The author travels to hidden corners, island nations, and large cities digging into what's going on politically and culturally with languages spoken by relatively small groups of people. I loved learning about some completely different ways of viewing time or personal relationships in, say, Mohawk or Tayal; discovering that in Boro a single verb, "gagrom," means "to search for a thing below the water by trampling" while "mokhrob" means "to express anger by a sidelong glance." Abley found languages where there are virtually no nouns, languages where "you" is the first person, rather than "I."

I would have enjoyed more exploration of African and South American languages, but loved bringing various tidbits of delightful information to the dinner table conversation each night.