Diego Marani has written a novel which has the last speaker of a language as a key character. Vostyach is a Finno-Ugric language, believed to have vanished, until a Russian linguist finds a last speaker who has grown up in the gulag. Unfortunately, she reveals her discovery to an unscrupulous Finnish linguist whose cherished hypotheses about the linguistic history of Europe are threatened by this new data.
How far he is prepared to go to defend his theories, and what happens to these various characters, you can find out by reading the novel (no spoilers!) – but I will say that the last of the Vostyachs himself ends up not too badly and his language is being heard by many people (at least in some form) by the close of the book.
Marani does not really use linguistics a great deal in this novel – there is some rather dodgy phonetics in there, and he doesn’t go into any detail about either historical linguistics or language endangerment. It isn’t great literature either (I read it on an international flight, and that seemed about right) but it is all highly entertaining.
Imagining our future: science fiction and climate change | A conversation with Emeritus Professor Andrew Milner
As 2017 begins, we reflect on the beginnings and evolution of our ideas on utopia … Continue reading Imagining our future: science fiction and climate change | A conversation with Emeritus Professor Andrew Milner
Register for the Monash Graduate Expo on January 24th to find out about different graduate study options.
Dangerous Research: PhD candidate Maria Tanyag on field work and feminist research
Maria Tanyag is a PhD candidate in International Relations with the Monash Gender, Peace and … Continue reading Dangerous Research: PhD candidate Maria Tanyag on field work and feminist research
Women as leaders and peacekeepers: Dr Lesley Pruitt
More than 118,000 peacekeepers – military, police and civilian – currently serve in 16 UN … Continue reading Women as leaders and peacekeepers: Dr Lesley Pruitt
Global Bioethics: A conversation with Professor Michael Selgelid
Professor Michael Selgelid is the Director of the Monash Bioethics Centre (formerly named Centre for … Continue reading Global Bioethics: A conversation with Professor Michael Selgelid
Sleep, more complicated than you’d think
We spend one third of our lives asleep, but few of us clearly remember what we … Continue reading Sleep, more complicated than you’d think
Change of Preference Expo
14 December, 3-7pm.
Monash students star at the Ossie Awards
Death or Liberty tours in London, Dublin and Wales
“Democracy wasn’t granted in the 1850s and late 19th century simply because some wise politicians … Continue reading Death or Liberty tours in London, Dublin and Wales
Godzilla’s lost nuclear past: Dr Jason Jones
You might remember Godzilla demolishing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, or Matthew Broderick defeating the … Continue reading Godzilla’s lost nuclear past: Dr Jason Jones
Monash composers to premiere new works in Germany
The Australian-German production, Vom Anderen Ende (From the Other End) is a Berlin-based concert series that features the State Youth Ensemble for New Music Berlin performing new works by both established and emerging composers.
“Reading Coetzee’s Women” conference an outstanding success
There has been enormous international scholarly interest in J.M Coetzee’s writings in recent years. Since … Continue reading “Reading Coetzee’s Women” conference an outstanding success