Linguistic Ecology: Language Change and Linguistic Imperialism in the Pacific Region

Synopsis

In Linguistic Ecology , the author examines the transformation of the Pacific language region under the impact of colonization, westernization and modernization. By focusing on the linguistic and socio-historical changes of the past 200 years, he brings a new dimension to the study of Pacific linguistics, which up until now has been dominated by questions of historical reconstruction and language typology.In contrast to the traditional portrayal of linguistic change as a natural process, Muuml;hlhauml;usler focuses on the cultural and historical forces which drive language change. Using the metaphor of language ecology to explain and describe the complex interplay between languages, speakers and social practice, Muuml;hlhauml;usler looks at how language ecologies have functioned in the past to sustain language diversity, and at what happens when those ecologies are disrupted.Whilst most of the examples used in the book are taken from the Pacific and Australian region, the insights derived from this area are shown to have global applications. This is an essential read for linguists and all those interested in the large scale loss of human language.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • London
Publication year:
  • 1996