The last lingua franca: English until the return of Babel

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Walker & Co.,
Pub. Date:
2010.
Language:
English
Description

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.

More Details
ISBN:
9780802717719
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

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

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Ostler, Nicholas.
author_display Ostler, Nicholas
available_at_arlington Central
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction
display_description
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id 4e0e27fb-6629-8c5c-8f44-c210a9dd510c
isbn 9780802717719
item_details ils:.b13138285|.i15067440|Central Adult Nonfiction|420.9 OSTLE|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Dec 31, 2016|can||
itype_arlington Hardback
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 420.9 OSTLE
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
primary_isbn 9780802717719
publishDate 2010
record_details ils:.b13138285|Book|Books|1st U.S. ed.|English|Walker & Co.,|2010.|xx, 330 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_arlington ils:.b13138285|.i15067440|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet English language -- Foreign countries, English language -- Social aspects, English language -- Variation, Lingua francas
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_sub English until the return of Babel