Language City By Ross Perlin

  • Narrated by: Ross Perlin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Release date: 04-09-24

Language City By Ross Perlin AudioBook summary

Half of all 7,000-plus human languages may disappear over the next century, and when they’re gone, it will be forever. Ross Perlin, a linguist and codirector of the Manhattan-based non-profit Endangered Language Alliance, is racing against time to map little-known languages across the most linguistically diverse city in history: contemporary New York. Perlin recounts the unique history of immigration that shaped the city, and follows six remarkable yet ordinary speakers of endangered languages deep into their communities to learn how they are maintaining and reviving their languages.

Seke is spoken by 700 people from five ancestral villages in Nepal, a hundred of whom have lived in a single Brooklyn apartment building. N’ko is a radical new West African writing system now going global in Harlem and the Bronx. After centuries of colonization and displacement, Lenape, the city’s original Indigenous language and the source of the name Manhattan (“the place where we get bows”), has just one fluent native speaker, bolstered by a small band of revivalists.


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