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By Asya Pereltsvaig

What do all human languages have in universal and in what methods are they assorted? How can language be used to track assorted peoples and their previous? Are convinced languages comparable due to universal descent or language touch? Assuming no previous wisdom of linguistics, this textbook introduces readers to the wealthy range of human languages, familiarizing scholars with the diversity and typology of languages around the globe. Linguistic phrases and ideas are defined, within the textual content and within the word list, and illustrated with basic, obtainable examples. Eighteen language maps and various language relatives charts allow scholars to put a language geographically or genealogically. A helping web site contains extra language maps and sound recordings that may be used to demonstrate the peculiarities of the sound platforms of assorted languages. 'Test your self' questions during the booklet make it more straightforward for college students to research facts from unexpected languages.

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Here is a translation to help you: And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! and surely I’ll buy mine! And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for the sake of old times. Another poet (or maker in Scots) who wrote in Scots is Robert Louis Stevenson. He wrote most of his prose in English, but in Kidnapped (written in 1886) he masterfully depicted certain peculiarities of Scots pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. Moreover, his poetry is written in both English and Scots. By his own admission in “The Maker to Posterity”, Scots is a lofty language alongside Greek and Latin (Lallans is one of the several names for Scots, and Tantallon is a mid-fourteenth-century castle overlooking the Firth of Forth): No bein fit to write in Greek, I wrote in Lallans, Dear to my hert as the peat reek, Auld as Tantallon.

Were they agriculturalists or nomads? What did they eat, what clothes did they wear and how did they get around? What were their myths and beliefs like? Believe it or not, linguists can shed new light on these questions. For example, linguists working back from the descendant languages have been able to reconstruct many words of Proto-Indo-European; among them the words for ‘cold’, ‘winter’, ‘snow’, ‘honey’, such trees as ‘beech’, ‘birch’, ‘pine’ and ‘ash’, and animals like ‘wolf’, ‘bear’ and ‘deer’.

Another example of words that came from the same root but diverged in meaning is the English loaf vs. the Russian xleb ‘bread’. Although the similarity of sound may not be immediately apparent, the English word derives from an earlier form hl¯af ‘bread, loaf of bread’ (the macron over a vowel means that it is long): it lost the initial h and acquired a more specialized meaning referring to a unit of bread and not to the substance as a whole. Such pairs of words in two languages that sound similar but mean different things are known as false friends.

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