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Words of the World The Global Language System

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ISBN-10: 074562748X

ISBN-13: 9780745627489

Edition: 2001

Authors: Abram De Swaan

List price: $36.25
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Description:

This bold and accessible study of human languages and communication explores issues which are at the forefront of today's globalized society.The human species is divided into more than five thousand language groups that do not understand each other. And yet these groups constitute one coherent world language system, connected by multilingual speakers in a surprisingly powerful way. The chances of a language thriving depend on its position in the system. There are thousands of small, peripheral languages, each connected to one of a hundred central languages. The entire system is held together by one global language: English. A language is a 'hypercollective' good: the more speakers it has,…    
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Book details

List price: $36.25
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Polity Press
Publication date: 1/21/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.94" wide x 8.94" long x 0.67" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Preface
Introduction: The Global Language System
The Global Language System: a Galaxy of Languages
A Historical Atlas of the World as a Language System
Supercentral Constellations in the Present Language System
Scope and Approach of the Book
Plan of the Book
The Political Economy of Language Constellations
Languages as 'Hypercollective Goods'
The Communication Potential of a Language: the Q-value
Language, Culture and the Unequal Exchange of Texts
Texts as Commodities in International Exchange
Protectionism and Free Trade in Cultural Exchange
Monoglossia, Polyglossia and Heteroglossia
Discussion
India: The Rivalry between Hindi and English
Characterization of the Indian Constellation
State Formation, Nation-Building and Language Unification
The Vicissitudes of Language Policy in India
Discussion
The Triumph of Bahasa, Indonesia
Gandhi's Dream
The Rise of Malay
The Demise of Dutch
The Rejection of Javanese
Discussion
Africa: The Persistence of the Colonial Languages
A Two by Three Comparison
Three Francophone Constellations below the Sahara
Rwanda
Senegal
Congo/Zaire
Three English-Centered Constellations below the Sahara
Botswana
Tanzania
Nigeria
South Africa: The survival of the old language regime
The language regime under Apartheid
Language policy after Apartheid
The dynamics of the constellation
Discussion
The European Union: The More Languages, the More English
Civil Europe (1): Language Unification in National Constellations
Civil Europe(2): Q-values in the European Union
Institutional Europe (1): the Public Level
Institutional Europe (2): the Bureaucracy
Discussion
Conclusions and Considerations
Conclusions
Considerations
Notes
References
Index