by Mark Abley - £8.99 Arrow Books Ltd (2005)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780099460220 | ISBN 10: 009946022x
Mark Abley's journeys among the speakers of languages at the brink take him to aboriginal Australia, to American Indian reservations and to elderly Canadian speakers of Yiddish, as well as to places where the languages are fighting back: Wales, the Faeroe Islands, the Isle of Man.
He examines the forces - from pop culture to creoles to globalisation - that threaten to wipe out 90 per cent of languages by the end of this century. And he pays tribute to such unfamiliar tongues as the Amazonian language last spoken by a parrot, the Caucasian language with no vowels, and the South Asian whose innumerable verbs include gobray (to fall into a well unknowingly) and onsra (to love for the last time).
"A fascinating and at times moving acocunt of how languages die as they go out of fashion... [A] brilliantly illuminating and unique language-travel book."
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)
In booklists: Travel Writing and Guides - Asia, Travel Writing & Guides - Ireland, Wales, Scotland & England, World Languages, Travel Writing and Guides - Europe, In categories: World - Asia, Ireland, Scotland & Wales, Education, Poetry & Writing, World - Europe,