Book recommendation: Language Death by David Crystal

And what about language creation?


Here is a quick little book review I put together for one of my favorite language books:

Language Death cover

Language Death, by David Crystal, is at once a practical handbook, a scholarly analysis of a sociolinguistic phenomenon, and a call to action, all in a thoughtful and highly readable 166 pages. Crystal starts by quickly covering topics such as how linguists count languages and how languages come to be classified as “endangered,” before examining causes of language endangerment. His main thrust, though, is pragmatic; his largest chapters cover the topics of “Why should we care?,” “Where do we begin?” and “What can be done?”

As someone very much interested in language preservation and revitalization, I found this book to be a remarkable primer on the subject. It is an excellent introductory text, suitable for non-specialists but detailed enough for budding linguists. The bibliography itself is a goldmine for anyone interested in…

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