In a previous life I was interested in pursuing psycho- and sociolinguistics and exploring how a society's mores, collective thoughts, mythologies, literature, politics and development were shaped by their common language and how language is shaped by its users. It offers scores of anecdotes and repeated opportunities to grow one's French vocabulary. I mean, I'm not exactly reading nor studying French at all---it does not appeal to me at all personally except upon remembering that one of my favorite modern day saints, St. Nevertheless, many words from Iberia's original civilizations survived the centuries and are still part of modern Spanish. Barlow cover a wide swath of linguistic history with verve and, of course, clarity and precision, embracing the French not only of France but of its far-flung colonies as well. Full of surprises and honed in Nadeau and Barlow's trademark style, combining personal anecdote, reflections, and deep research, The Story of Spanish is the first full biography of a language that shaped the world we know, and the only global language with two names--Spanish and Castilian.
The first three parts of the book were pretty interesting, even for someone like me who speaks no French. But, all in all, I really enjoyed it for two reasons. Much of Tartessos's mining wealth came from an area on the river then known as Luxia. Today's Basque territory straddles the border of France and Spain, yet Spain has so many place names of Basque origin that historians believe that the Basques might once have occupied up to a third of the Iberian Peninsula. As early as the thirteenth century, the English were struggling to define their nation in opposition to the French, a phenomenon that is no doubt the root of the peculiar mixture of attraction and repulsion most anglophones feel towards the French today, whether they admit it or not. I can't imagine how much richer my experience learning the language would have been if I had this book as a resource. I agree that the topic needed discussed, but really, one chapter would have sufficed.
Yet linguists today estimate that roughly half the Basque language consists of borrowings from Latin. The Phoenicians applied the name Hispania, write Canadian travelers Nadeau and Barlow co-authors: The Story of French, 2006, etc. Once received we make sure it is in perfect condition and then send it to you via the Australia Post eParcel service, which includes online tracking. Okay, now I can say that the first third of the book is the most interesting, particularly for one who doesn't really care about the stagnation and hypocrisy of language 'societies'. The Romans lured Iberians to Latin by tying it into the perks of city life, cities having always been their forte.
It was published by the French publishing house Editions Payot. It's a constitutional monarchy minus one point where there is little by, of and for the people minus another poin A charming idea, the story of French. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of Quebec's efforts to preserve the purity of the French language. But silver or no silver, the Romans still had doubts about whether to stay in Hispania. The Spanish words hablar to speak and preguntar to ask also have their roots in this Vulgar Latin spoken when Hispania was conquered.
By the time the Romans arrived there, they had been practicing intensive agriculture for some five thousand years and silver mining for two thousand years. Okay, now I can say that the first third of the book is the most I don't speak French at all, but my wife does, and I picked it up thinking this would be a good 'put me to sleep' book. At the time, it was a sparsely populated land of dense forests and open plains teeming with wild boars, deer, wolves, and bears. Perhaps it will even bring a little clarity, precision and rigor to a confused and messy world. Boy, was I wrong: this thing keeps me up late. It was similar to a furry, tailless Middle Eastern creature with round ears that they called a hyrax, except this version had long ears and long legs, and multiplied at an astonishing pace.
In 2002, Nadeau wrote Les Français aussi ont un accent The French Also Have an Accent: available only in French a quirky travelog on the experience of living in France. Not a bad book at all. And how when the Spanish explored the they lacked the words to describe all the new things they encountered and adopted many terms from native languages such aguacate avocado and xitomatl that became tomate tomato. But, all in all, I really enjoyed it for two reasons. Written by Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow, The Story of Spanish is a book about the history of the Spanish language and is similar to The Story of French. I loved the first half or so of this book - I find the evolution of languages to be fascinating, and Nadeau and Barlow do a very nice job of condensing hundreds of years of history into a readable narrative. The only fault was a tendency to repetition.
In addition to France and adjacent parts of Belgium and Switzerland, French is also the dominant language of Quebec; Quebecois French retains some phonological features of 17th-century French, and because Quebec was not touched by the French Revolution and the resulting secularization, Quebecois cusswords, unlike the cusswords of France, are religious in nature. The authors give us a passionate and intriguing chronicle of a vibrant language that thrived through conquests and setbacks to become the tongue of Pedro Almod var and Gabriel Garc a M rquez, of tango and ballroom dancing, of millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Why does everything sound better if it's said in French? It's amazing, then, to think that the Romans didn't really want to be on the Iberian Peninsula in the first place. Renowned for their mercantile prowess, the Phoenicians drummed up business as far north as Britain and Scandinavia and built trading ports all along the shores of North Africa. French is also used a great deal in the former French and Belgian colonial empires in Black Africa, since unlike native African languages, French does not privilege any ethnic group over any other; in the former French North Africa, Arabic is the language of Islam, so French is the language of secular culture opposed to Islamization.
They are less successful in writing of the deep history of Spanish, confusing the causes of the split of Spanish and Portuguese and missing a couple of entertaining if perhaps fugitive theories on why people in Madrid lisp while those in Maracaibo do not. This is a social history of Spanish speakers, rather than a history of the language itself. One issue: Lesotho is inaccurately described as a good example of democracy in Africa. No one grew up speaking Lingua Franca, so it never grew into a creole. I told her that was racist. The Romans connected these centers with splendid highways and linked the open cities of the sea to the closed villages of the mountains.