Description - A History of Language by Steven Roger Fischer
This work charts the history of communication from the time before human language was conceived through to the media explosion of the present day. Describing modes of communication between whales, birds, insects and primates and suggesting the first contexts in which the concept of "language" might be applied, the author moves from the early abilities of "homo erectus" to the spread of languages worldwide, analyzing the effect of the development of writing along the way. With the founding of the science of linguistics in the 19th century, the nature of language first came to be studied and understood; the author charts the evolution of linguists' insights and the relationship of language to social change into the mid-1900s. Taking into account the rise of pidgin, Creole, jargon and slang, the author raises provocative questions about literature's - and literacy's - relationship to language. Finally, touching on the effects of radio, television, propoganda and advertising, Fischer looks to the future, asking how electronic media are daily reshaping the world's languages and suggesting a radical reinterpretation of what language really is.
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Publisher: Reaktion Books
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Author Biography - Steven Roger Fischer
Steven Roger Fischer is Director of the Institute of Polynesian Languages and Literatures in Auckland, New Zealand. He is the author of A History of Writing, A History of Reading and Island at the End of the World: The Turbulent History of Easter Island, all available from Reaktion Books.