The World's Major Languages: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

The World's Major Languages

2nd Edition

Edited by Bernard Comrie

© 2011 – Routledge

912 pages

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pub: 2015-11-26
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This volume features over fifty of the world's languages and language families. The featured languages have been chosen based on the number of speakers, their role as official languages and their cultural and historical importance. Each language is looked at in depth, and the chapters provide information on both grammatical features and on salient features of the language's history and cultural role. This second edition has been updated and revised. Two new languages, Amharic and Javanese, have been included. This accessible volume will appeal to anyone with an interest in linguistics.

Key features:

  • Attention is paid to both grammatical and sociolinguistic features
  • Attention is concentrated on the world's major languages
  • Designed to be accessible to all readers with an interest in language.


'This excellent, thorough resource has an unsurpassed amount of detail for a single-volume survey.' --S. L. Johnson, Eastern Illinois University, Choice Reviews

'Highly recommended. Academic libraries supporting lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.'--S. L. Johnson, Eastern Illinois University, Choice Reviews

'Originally published in 1987, the second edition of this major handbook contains considerable enough amount of revision and new material to warrant its purchase by those libraries which invested in the original edition' -- Reference Reviews

'The Volume is well constructed for reference access as well as for more in-depth consultation' -- Reference Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Indo-European Languages Philip Baldi 2. Germanic Languages John A. Hawkins 3. English Edward Finegan 4. German John A. Hawkins 5. Dutch Jan G. Kooij 6. Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Einar Haugen 7. Latin and the Italic Languages R.G.G. Coleman 8. Romance Languages John N. Green 9. French Linda R. Waugh and Monique Monville-Burston 10. Spanish John N. Green 11. Portuguese Stephen Parkinson 12. Italian Nigel Vincent 13. Rumanian Graham Mallinson 14. Slavonic Languages Bernard Comrie 15. Russian Bernard Comrie 16. Polish Gerald Stone 17. Czech and Slovak David Short 18. Serbo-Croat: Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian Greville Corbett and Wayles Browne 19. Greek Brian D. Joseph 20. Indo-Aryan Languages George Cardona 21. Sanskrit George Cardona 22. Hindi-Urdu Yamuna Kachru 23. Bengali M.H. Klaiman 24. Iranian Languages J.R. Payne and Behrooz Mahmoodi-Bakhtiari 25. Persian Gernot L. Windfuhr 26. Pashto D.N. MacKenzie 27. Uralic Languages Robert Austerlitz 28. Hungarian Daniel Abondolo 29. Finnish Michael Branch 30. Turkish and the Turkic Languages Jaklin Kornfilt 31. Afroasiatic Languages Robert Hetzron 32. Semitic Languages Robert Hetzron and Alan S. Kaye 33. Arabic Alan S. Kaye 34. Hebrew Robert Hetzron and Alan S. Kaye 35. Amharic Grover Hudson 36. Hausa and the Chadic Languages Paul Newman 37. Tamil and the Dravidian Languages Sanford B. Steever 38. Tai Languages David Strecker 39. Thai Thomas John Hudak 40. Vietnamese Ðình-Hoà Nguy.n 41. Sino-Tibetan Languages Scott DeLancey 42. Chinese Charles N. Li and Sandra A. Thompson 43. Burmese Julian K. Wheatley 44. Japanese Masayoshi Shibatani 45. Korean Nam-Kil Kim 46. Austronesian Languages Ross Clark 47. Malay-Indonesian Uri Tadmor 48. Javanese Michael P. Oakes 49. Tagalog Paul Schachter and Lawrence A. Reid 50. Niger-kordafian Languages Douglas Pulleyblank 51. Yoruba Douglas Pulleyblank and O. lanike. O. la Orie 52. Swahili and Bantu Benji Wald

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REFERENCE / Encyclopedias