Word To Your Mother (tongue)

26 Jun

Sumerian inscriptions circa 26th century BC


The Language history of the world shows more of the true impacts of past movements and changes of peoples, beyond the heraldic claims of their largely self-appointed leaders.  They reveal a subtle interweave of cultural relations with power politics and economic expediency.

There’s a short glimpse into the book I am currently reading, Empires of the Word:  A Language History of the World, and as you are no doubt wondering, yes it is absolutely fascinating. Thanks to language and the written word we have civilisation, cheap copies of the greatest and most defining texts that have been produced through the human experience and the combined weight of a shared history.  Sadly we also got The Da Vinci Code but it’s a small price to pay.

Now here’s a great bit of music (with lyrics, thereby making it relevant to this post) and a brilliant video to boot.  Also a new episode of Twin Peaks tonight and apologies for the obscure Vanilla Ice lyric title.



Posted by on 26/06/2017 in History, Languages


Tags: , , , , , ,

18 responses to “Word To Your Mother (tongue)

  1. shadowoperator

    26/06/2017 at 15:57

    My message disappeared! Oh, well, I think I can reconstruct it. I said something like: “Glad to see you back today, with your bit of creative potpourri [I know I said that!]. I was missing my fix of Ste. J’s blog!” Yeah, I know, hardly what you’d find on a Sumerian tablet, but lots of times they were simply keeping track of crop yields, and rulers’ dictates. Now, give me a Sumerian folk tale, or novel…!


    • Ste J

      26/06/2017 at 20:44

      Apologies for being away, things got in the way as per usual but I am hoping to be writing more frequently. Enmerkar and Gilgamesh are still on my pile to be read, I wonder how interesting all the Sumerian paperwork could be, if was presented well in a book, I would review it!


  2. Liz Dexter

    27/06/2017 at 08:54

    That sounds like a great book. I’ve got a 1930s book called The Loom of Language which is about the development of the languages of the world – it’s what set me off in my love of linguistcs, as a teenager. A weird teenager, but what the heck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ste J

      27/06/2017 at 16:37

      I shall look out for that one, what teenager isn’t weird? Although your sort of weird is definitely more fascinating. I forgot to mention your book arrived the other week, I’m sorry it’s taken ages to get back to you, I will sort yours out soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Liz Dexter

        28/06/2017 at 10:38

        No worries, once you work through my blog posts you’ll notice I have quite a lot to be getting on with … !


  3. Andrea Stephenson

    27/06/2017 at 15:00

    Haunting music to go with my thoughts about the power of words and the history of language after reading this post!


    • Ste J

      27/06/2017 at 16:33

      I love a bit of Julee Cruise, her music seems good at any time of the day and the video was one of those that I just had to share. The history of language is indeed a fascinating one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Clare Pooley

    28/06/2017 at 00:40

    Thanks for the intro to Julee Cruise – I loved the music and the video. Nice to see you again. I thought you might have escaped back to the Philippines! I find the history of language really fascinating so I might look out for Empires of the Word.


    • Ste J

      28/06/2017 at 23:10

      It has been a while, it was tempting but money isn’t my friend at the moment! Julee Cruise is a wonderful singer, very chilled and the vdeo is one of my all time favourites. EotW is a big tome but is going to be so rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clare Pooley

        29/06/2017 at 00:52

        Money!! There’s never enough of it when we need it!


  5. Bumba

    29/06/2017 at 16:47

    Yes, you can blame the Sumerians for all this writing nonsense! The study of word origins and linguistics is a fascinating way to approach history. Migrations, trade, and the exchange of crummy jokes are all documented. Sounds like a good book.


    • Ste J

      29/06/2017 at 17:01

      Now an ancient joke book would be a great thing to read. Empire of the Word is a very in depth book and bloody huge but it is fascinating, watching the spread of languages and the sad demise of others.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Asha Seth

    01/07/2017 at 08:15

    I shall await the full review of this book.


  7. Lucy

    01/07/2017 at 12:14

    My daughter is very enthusiastic about languages, and we watched a Stephen Fry series about linguistics that was really good. I shall recommend this book to her 🙂


    • Ste J

      02/07/2017 at 21:43

      It’s a good read and really gets involved, it is requiring a lot of patience at the moment though to get through.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    02/07/2017 at 20:18

    The language history also says how most parts of the world are interconnected and how words have travelled to mingle themselves with unknown languages…. No doubt, the books is a great read!


    • Ste J

      02/07/2017 at 21:51

      It is very informative, yet it is slow going at the moment, I am hoping it will have some speedier chapters in it.



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