ThysdrusRoman Coliseum of El-Jem

Panem et Circensis

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Location: Tunis, Tunisia, Tunisia

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Story Of Human Languages

I have been always fascinated by the study of the history of human languages and I think this book by John Derbyshire is quite interesting in that it tries to answer the following questions :
Why did only Britain, of all the Roman provinces overrun by Germans, end up speaking a Germanic language? Why did the Portuguese language “take” in Brazil, but not in Africa, while Dutch “took” in Africa but not in Indonesia? If the Phoenicians were so important in Mediterranean history, how is it that they left not a single work of literature behind? Since we know of no nation named Aramaia, whence came Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus of Nazareth? What actually happened to Sumerian? Or Mongolian, the language of a vast medieval empire?
( Via Arts & Letters Daily)


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