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Re: Basque & Katzner's Languages of the World

From:Matthew Pearson <matthew.pearson@...>
Date:Thursday, November 15, 2001, 18:51
--- 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)
--- end of quote --- 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). 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. Matt. Matthew Pearson Department of Linguistics Reed College 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd Portland, OR 97202 503 771 1112 x 7618


Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>