Comments solicited on Languages of the World: An Introduction

Nov 20, 2014 by

Dear Readers,

As I am working on the second edition of my Languages of the World: An Introduction, I would like to hear from readers, and especially from instructors who used the book in their courses. Comments, criticisms and especially suggestions for improvement will be very helpful. If you’ve noticed typos, errors, mistakes or booboos, those are useful to know about too. Even suggestions for major reorganization — we can deal with it all.

Thank you very much,




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  • John B Gorentz

    I’ve known about this book, but just now ordered a copy for myself. I look forward to reading it.

    • Thanks John! Let me know if you have any comments!

      • John B Gorentz

        Asya, did you get the comments I sent via a web form on this site? I’m not sure I even agree with those comments any more. But several weeks ago I left a comment there because at the time I couldn’t find this comment thread.

        • Sorry, John, I didn’t receive that message. Evidently, the messages from the contact page were not forwarded properly. I’ll look into it, but do you happen to have those comments — could you resend them to me? I’ll PM you with address.

          • John B Gorentz

            Asya, I don’t seem to have saved a copy of what I sent. It wasn’t too much, mainly about the wish for more of an index. There is a glossary which helps, but sometimes when a concept was brought up I wanted to go back to the place where it had been introduced so I could read the original explanation more carefully. But the index didn’t ever help me find these

            When I first got the book I went straight to the chapter on North American languages; then realized that wasn’t going to work. So much of this information is new to me that I needed to start at the beginning. But it would have been nice to be able to refer back to concepts where they were first introduced. Maybe you didn’t intend for it to be that sort of reference book, but more of an index might help make it one.

            One of the good things about the book was that it disabused me of some things I thought I new, such as the idea that the Algonquian languages from the Great Lakes region are agglutinative languages.

            (I’m not on facebook anymore. I got disgusted with facebook’s behavior regarding the Navalny protests. Facebook gave me a month to change my mind before deleting my account; that period is now long past.)

          • Thank you for the suggestion regarding the index, John, I will definitely look into it. And sorry again about the snafu with the Contact page. I will put my tech guy on this issue.

            I am afraid I am not familiar with the Facebook and Navalny protests issue — what happened?

            If you’d like, we can discuss this further by email: myfirstname_mylastname @yahoo