The World Atlas of Language Structures

April 30, 2008

I have mentioned before that languages are an important interest of mine. Now we have an extraordinary linguistic resource online — the World Atlas of Language Structures.

The database covers more than 2,500 languages by up to 140+ structural and familial criteria. The content is displayed in text and maps serving as a rich body of data visualizations. We are lucky to have such work made available to us, and I greatly appreciate the effort.


A Little Learning Is An Expensive Thing

April 12, 2008

The origin and dispersal of language(s) is one of the most fascinating of those cultural beginnings that fascinate me.  It was no surprise, therefore, for me to thoroughly enjoy “The Land East of The Asterisk“, Wendy Doniger’s long review of M.L. West’s “Indoeuropean Poetry and Myth” which she calls “surely the definitive book on Indo-European language and religion.”

I was so intrigued that I actually went to Amazon to see how much I could get the book for.  $116!!  We have a great library system in Vancouver, but it is hard to expect them to keep every possible niche interest book.  So, absent access to a university library somehow, most of us are priced out of this knowledge.  We have to make do with mere glances, through reviews and citations.  Annoying at times.