The Mother Tongue

English and How it Got that Way
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062417444
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 320
View: 5092
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With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent—brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industries.

Mother Tongue

The Story of the English Language
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Penguin Books Limited
ISBN: 9780141040080
Category: English language
Page: 269
View: 9976
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The author of the acclaimed The Lost Continent now steers us through the quirks and byways of the English language. We learn why island, freight, and colonel are spelled in such unphonetic ways, why four has a u in it but forty doesn't, plus bizarre and enlightening facts about some of the patriarchs of this peculiar language.

The Story of English


Author: Robert McCrum,William Cran,Robert MacNeil
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 9780142002315
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 468
View: 8676
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Presents the history of the English language from its obscure Anglo-Saxon origins to its present status as the world's most prominent and fast-growing international language.

Righting the Mother Tongue

From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling
Author: David Wolman
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061981974
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 224
View: 9350
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“A funny and fact-filled look at our astoundingly inconsistent written language, from Shakespeare to spell-check.” —St. Petersburg Times David Wolman explores seven hundred years of trial, error, and reform that have made the history of English spelling a jumbled and fascinating mess. In Righting the Mother Tongue, the author of A Left-Hand Turn Around the World brings us the tangled story of English Spelling, from Olde English to email. Utterly captivating, deliciously edifying, and extremely witty, Righting the Mother Tongue is a treat for the language lover—a book that belongs in every personal library, right next to Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, and the works of Bill Bryson and Simon Winchester.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

The Untold History of English
Author: John McWhorter
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1592404944
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 230
View: 1925
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A survey of the English language's usage mysteries considers the ways in which English developed and how it may reflect cultural values, in a reference that covers such topics as Celtic and Welsh influences, the origins of specific syntax patterns, and the role of language in forming early Britain. 25,000 first printing.

The Adventure of English

The Biography of a Language
Author: Melvyn Bragg
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1628720247
Category: Reference
Page: 336
View: 1757
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Here is the riveting story of the English language, from its humble beginnings as a regional dialect to its current preeminence as the one global language, spoken by more than two billion people worldwide. In this groundbreaking book, Melvyn Bragg shows how English conquered the world. It is a magnificent adventure, full of jealousy, intrigue, and war—against a hoard of invaders, all armed with their own conquering languages, which bit by bit, the speakers of English absorbed and made their own. Along the way, its colorful story takes in a host of remarkable people, places, and events: the Norman invasion of England in 1066; the arrival of The Canterbury Tales and a “coarse” playwright named William Shakespeare, who added 2,000 words to the language; the songs of slaves; the words of Davy Crockett; and the Lewis and Clark expedition, which led to hundreds of new words as the explorers discovered unknown flora and fauna. The Adventure of English is an enthralling story not only of power, religion, and trade, but also of a people and how they changed the world.

The Story of English in 100 Words


Author: David Crystal
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466805080
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 288
View: 5270
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The world's foremost expert on the English language takes us on an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the history of our vernacular through the ages. In The Story of English in 100 Words, an entertaining history of the world's most ubiquitous language, David Crystal draws on one hundred words that best illustrate the huge variety of sources, influences and events that have helped to shape our vernacular since the first definitively English word—‘roe'—was written down on the femur of a roe deer in the fifth century. Featuring ancient words (‘loaf'), cutting edge terms that relfect our world (‘twittersphere'), indispensible words that shape our tongue (‘and', ‘what'), fanciful words (‘fopdoodle') and even obscene expressions (the "c word"...), David Crystal takes readers on a tour of the winding byways of our language via the rude, the obscure and the downright surprising.

Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India

The Making of a Mother Tongue
Author: Lisa Mitchell
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253353017
Category: History
Page: 281
View: 9745
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The charged emotional politics of language and identity in India

Mother Tongue

A Saga of Three Generations of Balkan Women
Author: Tania Romanov
Publisher: Travelers' Tales
ISBN: 1609521285
Category: Travel
Page: N.A
View: 353
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What is your mother tongue? Sometimes the simplest questions take a book to answer. Such is the case with Tania Romanov’s story. Mother Tongue is an exploration of lives lived in the chaos of a part of the world known as the Balkans. It follows the lives of three generations of women—Katarina, Zora, and Tania—over the last 100 years. It follows countries that dissolved, formed, and reformed. Lands that were conquered and subjugated by Fascists and Nazis and nationalists. Lives lived in exile, in refugee camps, in new worlds. What language did you speak with your mother? What language did you speak with your father? What language did you speak with your brother? For Tania Romanov there are three different answers to those questions. Did you speak your mother tongue with anyone except your mother? That is the most bizarre question of all. But for Tania Romanov, the answer is no. She spoke a unique language with her mother, one in which she is still fluent. And by the way, it was not her mother’s native language. The language is Serbian. Tania’s mother was Croatian. Her father was Russian. Tania was born in Serbia, but left when she was six months old. She and her brother grew up in San Francisco speaking English. She didn’t speak any language until she was two. Tania doesn’t know why she spoke Serbian, rather than Croatian, with her mother Zora. It never occurred to her to ask until she started writing her memoir. And by then, her mother was gone. The country of birth listed on Tania’s American passport changed four times in four successive renewals. Until the first time, she believed your country of birth was a fixed point. Today she knows better. Go with her as she journeys through time and history looking for answers, and finding some.

The Genius of Language

Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongue
Author: Wendy Lesser
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307485390
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 256
View: 3394
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Fifteen outstanding writers answered editor Wendy Lesser’s call for original essays on the subject of language–the one they grew up with, and the English in which they write.Despite American assumptions about polite Chinese discourse, Amy Tan believes that there was nothing discreet about the Chinese language with which she grew up. Leonard Michaels spoke only Yiddish until he was five, and still found its traces in his English language writing. Belgian-born Luc Sante loved his French Tintin and his Sartre, but only in English could he find “words of one syllable” that evoke American bars and bus stops. And although Louis Begley writes novels in English and addresses family members in Polish, he still speaks French with his wife–the language of their courtship. As intimate as one’s dreams, as private as a secret identity, these essays examine and reveal the writers’ pride, pain, and pleasure in learning a new tongue, revisiting an old one, and reconciling the joys and frustrations of each.

Mother Tongue


Author: Julie Mayhew
Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Fiction Ltd.
ISBN: 1471405958
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Page: 368
View: 6194
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If you leave home, is your heart left behind? Darya Ivanova is looking forward to September. She has looked after her little sister, Nika, since she was a baby. Now Nika is starting school. Maybe Darya can find a job with her own tidy desk. Perhaps even a boyfriend. But when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, Darya's life plans are fractured. Stalled. She is afraid. What if she never knows real love? What if she never finds somewhere she belongs? If only she could get to Moscow. There, Darya could escape. There, she could become someone else . . . 'Magnificent' Independent on The Big Lie

Our Mother Tongue

Answer Key
Author: Nancy Wilson
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9781591280163
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Page: 60
View: 641
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A lesson-by-lesson answer key for all chapters of the text Our Mother Tongue.

Meditations on the Mother Tongue


Author: An Tran
Publisher: C&r Press
ISBN: 9781936196715
Category: Fiction
Page: 150
View: 3360
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Fiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. A deaf child discovers to her delight that she can communicate with zoo gorillas in her native language. An old man grieving for his departed wife looks to the giant turtle in Hanoi's sacred lake for solace, believing it to be a god. An American scientist searches the mountains and rivers of Sumatra for signs of an otter believed to be extinct. A young man finds a surprising connection to his Vietnamese heritage when he takes up the acrobatic sport of parkour, motivating him to re-learn his forgotten first language. In rich and vivid prose across twelve stories, men and women are displaced from their loved ones, their cultures and their homes, and look to the natural and spiritual worlds in search of anything that can offer a sense of belonging and lasting satisfaction. These are careful meditations on the desire to know one's self and be known by others, where parents and lovers alike appear as gods or as ghosts, dominating and unknowable, and where the bonds between fathers and sons and brothers, men and women, husbands and wives, are built, tested and found lacking.

Inventing English

A Portable History of the Language
Author: Seth Lerer
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231541244
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 320
View: 2497
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Seth Lerer tells a masterful history of the English language from the age of Beowulf to the rap of Eminem. Many have written about the evolution of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, but only Lerer situates these developments within the larger history of English, America, and literature. This edition features a new chapter on the influence of biblical translation and an epilogue on the relationship of English speech to writing. A unique blend of historical and personal narrative, Inventing English is the surprising tale of a language that is as dynamic as the people to whom it belongs.

Dancing at the Edge of the World

Thoughts on Words, Women, Places
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
ISBN: 0802165664
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 452
View: 2119
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“I have decided that the trouble with print is, it never changes its mind,” writes Ursula Le Guin in her introduction to Dancing at the Edge of the World. But she has, and here is the record of that change in the decade since the publication of her last nonfiction collection, The Language of the Night. And what a mind — strong, supple, disciplined, playful, ranging over the whole field of its concerns, from modern literature to menopause, from utopian thought to rodeos, with an eloquence, wit, and precision that makes for exhilarating reading.

The Story of French


Author: Jean-Benoit Nadeau,Julie Barlow
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 0307370496
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 400
View: 8230
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A fascinating exploration of the historical and cultural development of the French language from the bestselling authors of Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong. Imagine a language that is watched over by a group of forty “Immortals,” a language with rules so complex that few people ever completely master it, whose status as the world’s lingua franca has been declining for two centuries, whose use in global institutions is waning and whose speakers are so insecure they pass laws banning the use of other languages and spend millions of tax-payers’ dollars to make sure it gets used in literature, music and film. Now imagine a language that is second only to English for the number of countries where it is spoken officially, surpassing both Spanish or Arabic, a language that is the official tongue of two G-7 countries and three European nations, that is employed alongside English in most international institutions and that is the number-two choice of language students across the planet – a language with two million teachers and 100 million students worldwide, and whose number of speakers has tripled in the last fifty years. This paradox is the backdrop for The Story of French, in which bilingual Canadian authors Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow unravel the mysteries of a language that has maintained its global influence in spite of the ascendancy of English. Mixing historical analysis with journalistic observation, and drawing on their experiences living in and travelling to French-speaking countries, they explore how the French language developed over the centuries, how it came to be spoken in the Americas, Africa and Asia, and how it has maintained its global appeal. From the Hardcover edition.

The Language of Global Success

How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations
Author: Tsedal Neeley
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400888646
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 200
View: 747
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For nearly three decades, English has been the lingua franca of cross-border organizations, yet studies on corporate language strategies and their importance for globalization have been scarce. In The Language of Global Success, Tsedal Neeley provides an in-depth look at a single organization—the high-tech giant Rakuten—in the five years following its English lingua franca mandate. Neeley’s behind-the-scenes account explores how language shapes the ways in which employees who work in global organizations communicate and negotiate linguistic and cultural differences. Drawing on 650 interviews conducted across Rakuten’s locations in Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States, Neeley argues that an organization’s lingua franca is the catalyst by which all employees become some kind of “expat”—someone detached from their mother tongue or home culture. Through her unfettered access to the inner workings of Rakuten, she reveals three distinct social groups: “linguistic expats,” who live in their home country yet have to give up their native language in the workplace; “cultural expats,” or native speakers of the lingua franca, who struggle with organizational values that are more easily transmitted after language barriers are removed; and finally “linguistic-cultural expats,” who, while native to neither the lingua franca nor the organization’s home culture, surprisingly have the easiest time adjusting to language changes. Neeley demonstrates that language can serve as the conduit for an unfamiliar culture, often in unexpected ways, and that there are lessons to be learned for all global companies as they confront language and culture challenges. Examining the strategic use of language by one international corporation, The Language of Global Success uncovers how all organizations might integrate language effectively to tap into the promise of globalization.

The Lost Continent


Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0385674562
Category: Travel
Page: 352
View: 3624
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"I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to." And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of smiling village where the movies from his youth were set. Instead he drove through a series of horrific burgs, which he renamed Smellville, Fartville, Coleslaw, Coma, and Doldrum. At best his search led him to Anywhere, USA, a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by obese and slow-witted hicks with a partiality for synthetic fibres. He discovered a continent that was doubly lost: lost to itself because he found it blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a foreigner in his own country.

English as a Global Language


Author: David Crystal
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107611806
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 212
View: 1084
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David Crystal's classic English as a Global Language considers the history, present status and future of the English language, focusing on its role as the leading international language. English has been deemed the most 'successful' language ever, with 1500 million speakers internationally, presenting a difficult task to those who wish to investigate it in its entirety. However, Crystal explores the subject in a measured but engaging way, always backing up observations with facts and figures. Written in a detailed and fascinating manner, this is a book written by an expert both for specialists in the subject and for general readers interested in the English language.