Monthly Archives: April 2014

Empires of the Word or Empire of Words? – A Review of Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World

Khmer Inscription in Banteay Srei (Angkor Wat) The Khmer language is heavily influenced by Sanskrit

Khmer Inscription in Banteay Srei (Angkor Wat)
The Khmer language is heavily influenced by Sanskrit

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World , written by Nicholas Ostler, is an immensely learned book with an ambitious project: to recount world history from the births and demises of languages. From the cuneiforms engraved on the baked clay in 3000 BC  to the gloablisation of English in the twenty-first century, Ostler narrated this 5000 years of history from the perspective of languages – an approach, in his terminology, called ‘language dynamics’.

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