Article

Languages of the World

William R. Leben

in Linguistics

ISBN: 9780199772810
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0076
Languages of the World

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  • Linguistics
  • Anthropological Linguistics
  • Language Families
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics

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Scholarly work on the languages of the world is aimed in three main directions: genetic classification, typological classification, and documentation. This article focuses on work documenting the language families of the world, how many there are and where they are spoken, by how many speakers, and in what contexts. This article emphasizes work aimed at the scholarly community; however, it also cites authoritative, attractive volumes and websites that target a wider audience. Included as well are a few encyclopedic works on general linguistics whose coverage of the language families of the world is so complete that it would be wrong to omit them. A few surveys aim to cover every language in the world. Other cross-linguistic surveys cover every language in a particular region, while others try for a representative sample of languages from across the globe. Works devoted to a single family or world region are not listed here; these are the subject of other articles in Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics.

Article.  3301 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Anthropological Linguistics ; Language Families ; Psycholinguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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