The last lingua franca: English until the return of Babel

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Walker & Co.,
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English is the world's lingua franca-the most widely spoken language in human history. And yet, as historian and linguist Nicholas Ostler persuasively argues, English will not only be displaced as the world's language in the not-distant future, it will be the last lingua franca, not replaced by another.Empire, commerce, and religion have been the primary raisons d'etre for lingua francas--Greek, Latin, Arabic have all held the position--and Ostler explores each through the lens of civilizations spanning the globe and history, from China and India to Russia and Europe. Three trends emerge that suggest the ultimate decline of English and other lingua francas. Movements throughout the world towards equality in society will downgrade the status of elites--and since elites are the prime users of non-native English, the language will gradually retreat to its native-speaking territories. The rising wealth of Brazil, Russia, India, and China will challenge the dominance of native-English-speaking nations--thereby shrinking the international preference for English. Simultaneously, new technologies will allow instant translation among major languages, enhacing the status of mother tongues and lessening the necessity for any future lingua franca.Ostler predicts a soft landing for English: It will still be widely spoken, if no longer worldwide, sustained by America's continued power on the world stage. But its decline will be both symbolic and significant, evidence of grand shifts in the cultural effects of empire. The Last Lingua Franca is both an insightful examination of the trajectory of our own mother tongue and a fascinating lens through which to view the sweep of history.

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Grouped Work ID 4e0e27fb-6629-8c5c-8f44-c210a9dd510c
full_title last lingua franca english until the return of babel
author ostler nicholas
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:41AM

Solr Details

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author Ostler, Nicholas.
author-letter Ostler, Nicholas.
author_additional Nicholas Ostler.
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availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
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oclc (OCoLC)555656558
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
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physical xx, 330 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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primary_isbn 9780802717719
publishDate 2010
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publisher Walker & Co.,
rating 2.5
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record_details ils:.b13138285|Book|Books|1st U.S. ed.|English|Walker & Co.,|2010.|xx, 330 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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subject_facet English language -- Foreign countries, English language -- Social aspects, English language -- Variation, Lingua francas
table_of_contents Part 1: Lingua-franca present: the edges of English -- How various in the future? --Part II: lingua-francas past -- The pragmatism of empire -- When the writ of Persian ran -- Traders? Languages and the language for trade -- God's own language -- Part III: A range of outcomes -- Regenerations -- Ruin and relegation -- Resignation -- Who's in charge here? -- Big beasts -- The jungle is neutral -- Under an English Sun, the shadows lengthen.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The last lingua franca : English until the return of Babel
title_display The last lingua franca : English until the return of Babel
title_full The last lingua franca : English until the return of Babel / Nicholas Ostler
title_short The last lingua franca :
title_sort last lingua franca english until the return of babel
title_sub English until the return of Babel