Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Basque & Katzner's Languages of the World

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Thursday, November 15, 2001, 19:06
On Thursday, November 15, 2001, at 10:51 , Matthew Pearson wrote:

> --- Yoon Ha Lee wrote: >> I picked up _Languages of the World_ by Kenneth Katzner a few weeks ago. >> It's an interesting, *very* breezy survey of world languages, probably >> not really useful linguistically (the author works for the U.S. federal >> gov't) > > I would go so far as to say linguistically useless--though not entirely > impractical, since studying the textual examples can help you identify > different languages from written texts (a sort of language equivalent to > a bird-watcher's field guide). >
<laugh> Okay, so my skepticism was justified after all. I *love* the excerpts, though; I find them inspirational even if they aren't accurate.
> Despite its breeziness and many inaccuracies, though, I have a definite > sentimental attachment to that book, since it was one of my earliest > exposures to cross-linguistic diversity. Finding that book in my high > school library played a pivotal role in my becoming a linguist--that and > Mario Pei's "The Story of Language", another seriously flawed work. Both > books have places of honour on my bookshelf.
I read *some* Mario Pei book, though I'm not sure it was that one, in high school and was inspired by it at the time, though it took several more years for me actually to dive more into linguistics and conlanging. Wow, I've learned a ton about this book and about Basque just by posting a simple little question. <G> Yoon Ha Lee [] Diplomacy: the art of letting someone else have your way.