978-0-8069-2273-7 / 9780806922737

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About the book:

Did you know that when you call someone a "pal" you're using a word derived from Romany, the gypsy tongue (phal, or brother)? Or, that "cosmonaut" has its origins in ancient Greek? Remnants of the past live on in our words, grammar, and pronunciation. This is the story of language--how it succeeds or fails, and why it develops the way it does--abundantly and colorfully illustrated.
* Newly drawn maps and discussions of the most current linguistic issues (including "politically correct" and techno-speak).
* Over 1000 examples illustrate how specific words changed through time.
* Covers Sanskrit; Indo-Aryan; Basque; Greek; Celtic; Latin and the Romance languages; English, and the Germanic languages; Slavonic, and Baltic tongues; "outsider" languages, like Magyar and Finnish; and Europe's national languages.
* Includes over 140 photographs and special boxed sections
Whether you're interested in Romany or Romanian, English from Texas or Italian from Tuscany--you'll find the words that link them here!

Some reviews of the original edition:

"...this handsomely produced survey is that rarity, a scholarly book that is also very entertaining..."

"...turns what many regard as a day-as-dust academic subject into a topic of lively and unending interest..."

"...diagrams show relationships between dozens of different languages in a brilliantly clear and interesting way..."

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