Top positive review
Fascinating Subject, Sparkling Presentation -- A Terrific Book.
on December 30, 2013
This is one of the best and most exciting books I've ever read on language (I 'm not a professional, but I am a devotee). Deutscher's focus, as the title makes clear, is the way in which language could have emerged. This has to be speculative in part, since we are never going to find a fossil of the first noun. But Deutscher's approach is solid and convincing: he looks at the way languages grow and change at present, to deduce what may have happened in the past. In doing so, he considers the ways in which language itself could have emerged and why it may have evolved in certain ways. He does not focussing on the narrower issues of the emergence and development of specific lanquages, which is what most historical linguistics book I have read seem to do.
In addition to its fascinating subject matter and compelling research, this book is delightfully written. That's not a word I usually throw around in discussing books about language, many of which are written for an academic audience, and show it. But Deutcher is a lovely writer, which only reinforces my enthusiasm for this book. I like this book so much that I emailed the author to express my gratitude and appreciation. How often does one send fan mail to linquists?