Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ethnologue Vol. 1: Languages of the World Paperback – November 1, 2000
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Since its first edition, in 1951, the editors of Ethnologue have been recording the existence, locales, users, growth, and demise of languages around the globe. The efforts of numerous researchers result in a large, densely packed work with concise facts and figures. The primary purpose of the work is to provide a list of living languages, where used and by whom, but there are also a number of value-added features.
The introductory material explains the layout and the types of information available in each record. Next follows a set of statistical tables summarizing distributions, language families, and linguistic diversity. Part 1, "Languages of the World," provides country information, arranged by region. Each country entry is introduced by a paragraph noting basic general demographic information, the main languages, and the sources consulted. This is followed by a list of languages and their particular demographics. Dialects are noted along with estimated numbers of speakers, and in some cases, comments on the viability of a language are provided. It is sad to see the small numbers of documented speakers for some languages, but this is important to know in an ever-flattening and connected world.
Part 2 consists of more than 200 pages of subtly colored maps showing language distribution and locations within countries. The "Language Name Index" includes alternate names and is more than 300 pages in length. The final section of the book is a "Language Code Index" with standard three-letter -language-identifier codes. What is missing is a bibliography to go with the source citations found in the country entries.
Libraries that serve linguists, aid agencies, anthropologists, biological scientists, and researchers in other special fields will find this updated work a useful addition. It is very reasonably priced for the amount of information provided. Linda Loos Scarth
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
What others are saying
"…the Ethnologue has grown into one of the most comprehensive catalogs of languages…a source for academics and governments…" Michael Erard, New York Times, July 19, 2005.
"The efforts of numerous researchers result in a large, densely packed work with concise facts and figures. The primary purpose of the work is to provide a list of living languages, where used and by whom, but there are also a number of value-added features. " and "It is very reasonably priced for the amount of information provided." Booklist, November 1, 2006.
"Ethnologue remains one of the most useful scholarly reference sources on languages of the world. Summing Up: Essential. All collections; all levels." J. M. Alexander, Carnegie Mellon University, 2005sup CHOICE web review.
"Close to 7,000 languages spoken in the world today are covered in this one-volume resource culled from the widely regarded SIL International database." Library Journal, September 1, 2005.
"a veritable guide to the world's…languages and cultures, providing a bounty of sociolinguistic and demographic data in addition to linguistic information" ACRL, C&RL News, March 2005.--SIL International Media Release, May 2009 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The purpose of the Ethnologue comes closer to a catalog than an encyclopedia: "to provide a comprehensive listing of the known living languages of the world." That is no small task given the controversial issues surrounding the nature of language. How does one define a language? What criteria differentiate a dialect from a distinct language? How to track the 497 languages that are classified as "nearly extinct" and that face "language death" because they have fewer than 50 speakers? The Ethnologue tackles all these issues and more in its introduction, including such matters as deaf sign language for 119 languages.
After its introduction and overview (pp. 7-13), Ethnologue contains six major sections. An initial section presents general statistical summaries in a table format (pp. 15-36). We learn, for example, that although there are some 94 "language families," six "major" language families encompass two-thirds of all known languages and five-sixths of the world's population. Or again, Papua New Guinea is the most "linguistically diverse" country in the world with 820 languages among its 3.67 million people. Nor do these languages constitute mere sterile statistics. In one of the most volatile and war-torn regions of the world, two of the smallest and least linguistically diverse countries, Rwanda (fifth least diverse) and Burundi (seventh least diverse), are sandwiched between two of the largest and most linguistically diverse countries, Democratic Republic of Congo (seventh most diverse) and Tanzania (fourth most diverse). The second section is the largest in the book, listing all known living languages by geographical area and country (pp. 39-672), including brief comments about the language based upon 31 different variables--for example, the ethnicity or religion of its speaker population, the related dialects, bilingualism, age groups, and so on. I especially enjoyed looking at the language maps of the world in the third section (pp. 673-887), where a dot represents a language, giving one a sense of what you might think of as "linguistic diversity density." Some parts of the world map are crammed and crowded with overlapping dots, while other parts have large sections where a single language or two dominates. The fourth section grocery lists the 7,299 languages alphabetically (pp. 891-1229). A language code index (pp. 1231-1270) assigns each language a three-letter code, which is now used by the ISO (ISO 639-3) as the international standard for language identification. A final index lists the countries of the world alphabetically by name (pp. 1271-1272).
For a language learner and enthusiast like me, this is a great book.
I like how the book is structured and that there are maps which tell where each language is spoken.
This is very informative! Most of the languages in this book I've never heard of read about - so this book really adds to my knowledge of understanding languages.
I would not recommend to buy it just for school/university, because there is a new edition every year and the book is very costly.