1000 Languages: The Worldwide History of Living and Lost Tongues
Peter K. Austin
There are over 6,000 languages used around the world, and linguists estimate that by 2050 half of these will have become extinct. The use of language is what fundamentally distinguishes humans from other animals: only we have developed languages of such richness and flexibility that they can be used to elucidate abstract concepts, to expose our most intimate feelings and emotions, or even to create entire worlds of imagination to entertain, amuse or inspire others. This book offers a linguistic guided world tour, looking in detail at the eleven global languages, before exploring the major languages of each region in turn. Each language entry details numbers of speakers and geographical spread, together with a a history of the growth and development of the language.