Book: Languages of the World Articles

Languages in the World: The Textbook

August 15, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

As regular readers of this blog know, my latest academic book Languages in the World. How History, Culture and Politics Shape Language was published by Wiley-Blackwell in January of this year. Co-author Phillip M. Carter teaches at Florida International University in Miami. For professors who are considering adopting the book for their... read more

English and the Romanian Language

July 1, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

I’m putting the Romanian language at issue here. In Chapter 12 of Languages in the World we introduce Jean-Louis Calvet’s gravitational model comparing the different “weights” of languages across the world, each language having an attractive power, like stars and planets. The heavier the language, the more likely people are... read more

Linguistic Residual Zone: New York City

April 29, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Johanna Nichols – among her many contributions to the study of language – has identified two types of geographic zones relevant for comparative work in linguistics: the linguistic residual zone and the linguistic spread zone. A linguistic residual zone tends to be a relatively small, often geographically enclosed area where a higher number of... read more

Mongolian Horses

October 1, 2015 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In the early thirteenth century Genghis Khan united a variety of Mongolia’s nomadic tribes. Because of the Mongolians’ exceptional skill as horsemen, Genghis Khan was able to conquer many of his neighbors. In 1204 he subdued the Uyghur people in what is now Xinjiang, a western province of China. There... read more


Tibetan: Melting Snow and Protests

August 27, 2015 9:17 am Published by Leave your thoughts

As the Tibetan lama, Arjia Rinpoché, puts it, Tibet’s “language, its religion, its culture, and its native people are disappearing faster than its glacial ice.” The Tibetan language is melting. Note: The term Rinpoché is an honorific given to revered teachers and incarnated lamas; it means ‘precious one.’ In 2010... read more