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6. Alphabets

6. Alphabets  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0006
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
Even more unknowable than the origins of writing are origins of the first alphabet. We accept that the alphabet reached the modern world via the ancient Greeks. We do not know how or when ... More
3. Authorities

3. Authorities  

Simon Horobin

in The English Language: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Jan 2018
Published Online: 
Jan 2018
eISBN: 
9780191785443
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198709251.003.0003
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198709251
‘Authorities’ considers how the rules of usage are established. It first describes the role of dictionaries, frequently held to be the ultimate authority. It then discusses linguistic ... More
2. The causes of multilingualism

2. The causes of multilingualism  

John C. Maher

in Multilingualism: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
May 2017
Published Online: 
May 2017
eISBN: 
9780191792465
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198724995.003.0002
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198724995
How do languages spread and why do so many languages exist? Well-known agents of spread are war and colonization, but also migration and settlement, religion, the media, and the needs of ... More
7. Chinese and Japanese writing

7. Chinese and Japanese writing  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0007
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
A study of the languages of China is vital if we are to understand the scripts of East Asia. Chinese is made up of eight regional languages, which are made up of many dialects. It is a myth ... More
1. Coming to terms

1. Coming to terms  

John Edwards

in Sociolinguistics: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Jul 2013
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780199365920
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199858613.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199858613
The acquisition of language cannot be accounted for solely on the basis of postnatal experience — human beings must be genetically prepared or “pre-wired” to learn language. ‘Coming to ... More
6. The components of slang

6. The components of slang  

Jonathon Green

in Slang: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Feb 2016
Published Online: 
Feb 2016
eISBN: 
9780191796418
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198729532.003.0006
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198729532
‘The components of slang’ outlines the forms and etymological roots of slang and considers how the terms are validated. Slang offers no forms unique to itself. It borrows much of its lexis ... More
8. Conclusion: the unity of human language

8. Conclusion: the unity of human language  

Stephen R. Anderson

in Languages: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Jun 2012
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191778018
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199590599.003.0008
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199590599
So how many languages are there in the world? The various notions of how to individuate them offer a fairly wide range of answers, none of which seems overwhelmingly correct. ‘The unity of ... More
1. Crossing languages

1. Crossing languages  

Matthew Reynolds

in Translation: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Oct 2016
Published Online: 
Oct 2016
eISBN: 
9780191780622
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198712114.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198712114
What is translation? Is translation any different from communication in general? ‘Crossing languages’ considers the range of ways of doing things with words that can be thought of as ... More
4. Decipherment and undeciphered scripts

4. Decipherment and undeciphered scripts  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0004
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
In a technical sense, ‘decipher’ means different things to different scholars. At one end of the spectrum lies Egyptian script which is more or less completely decipherable with just a ... More
2. Definitions

2. Definitions  

Matthew Reynolds

in Translation: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Oct 2016
Published Online: 
Oct 2016
eISBN: 
9780191780622
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198712114.003.0002
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198712114
There are simple and complex reasons why there is no exact translation of ‘translation’. The simple reason is that there is no exact translation of any word and the complex reason is that ... More
2. Development and diffusion of writing

2. Development and diffusion of writing  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0002
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
After writing had been ‘invented’ in Mesopotamia, or Egypt, it diffused across the world. Did it go eastwards to India, China, and Japan? Did it go westwards to Europe and Meso-America? Or ... More
3. Disappearance of scripts

3. Disappearance of scripts  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0003
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
We know more about the death of scripts than we do about their birth. No single theory can encompass why scripts flourish or vanish. Many aspects influence the survival or disappearance of ... More
7. The diversity of signed languages

7. The diversity of signed languages  

Stephen R. Anderson

in Languages: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Jun 2012
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191778018
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199590599.003.0007
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199590599
‘The diversity of signed languages’ argues that if signed language were simply a pantomimic depiction of the world, there would be no reason to expect to find more than one. However, as ... More
1. Does dyslexia exist?

1. Does dyslexia exist?  

Margaret J. Snowling

in Dyslexia: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
May 2019
Published Online: 
May 2019
eISBN: 
9780191859496
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198818304.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198818304
Difficulties with reading and writing have wide-ranging effects beyond academic achievement, including effects on career opportunities, personal well-being, and to some extent mental ... More
4. Dyslexia genes and the environment—a class act?

4. Dyslexia genes and the environment—a class act?  

Margaret J. Snowling

in Dyslexia: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
May 2019
Published Online: 
May 2019
eISBN: 
9780191859496
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198818304.003.0004
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198818304
‘Dyslexia genes and the environment—a class act?’ considers the biological bases of dyslexia. Is dyslexia heritable? It has been known for many years that dyslexia runs in families. Like ... More
5. The dyslexic brain

5. The dyslexic brain  

Margaret J. Snowling

in Dyslexia: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
May 2019
Published Online: 
May 2019
eISBN: 
9780191859496
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198818304.003.0005
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198818304
All behaviour, including reading, is controlled by the brain. It is therefore natural to ask: are there differences in brain structure or function in dyslexia that cause difficulties in ... More
9. Endangered languages

9. Endangered languages  

John C. Maher

in Multilingualism: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
May 2017
Published Online: 
May 2017
eISBN: 
9780191792465
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198724995.003.0009
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198724995
By the end of the 21st century, half the languages spoken in the world today may have disappeared. Fewer than 10,000 people speak 52 per cent of languages. Many language communities have ... More
4. Forms, identities, and interpretations

4. Forms, identities, and interpretations  

Matthew Reynolds

in Translation: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Oct 2016
Published Online: 
Oct 2016
eISBN: 
9780191780622
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198712114.003.0004
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198712114
‘Forms, identities, and interpretation’ first looks at icons and how shapes and images are used in sign systems to create simple, international languages. It then considers the ... More
4. The future of languages

4. The future of languages  

Stephen R. Anderson

in Languages: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Jun 2012
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191778018
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199590599.003.0004
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199590599
Whatever the world's current linguistic diversity, it is steadily declining, as local forms of speech increasingly retreat before the advance of the major languages of world civilization. ... More
9. The future of slang

9. The future of slang  

Jonathon Green

in Slang: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Feb 2016
Published Online: 
Feb 2016
eISBN: 
9780191796418
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198729532.003.0009
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198729532
Slang’s future is interwoven with our new connected, digitized world. ‘The future of slang’ asks if we are, any longer, able safely to talk of ‘slang’ as a discrete language group, or are ... More

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