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.
Translation Nation at The Emerging Writers’ Festival
Join us at the Emerging Writers’ Festival this month as Monash Arts proudly presents; Translation … Continue reading Translation Nation at The Emerging Writers’ Festival
The history diviners: the emerging stories of early Gallipoli visitors
As The Water Diviner is released on commercial television and premieres in Los Angeles, researchers at Monash University reveal the identity of the film’s central character. Monash University historian Professor Bruce Scates and his doctoral student, Rebecca Wheatley, have spent years charting early Australian journeys to battlefields overseas.
Peter Singer: The Most Good You Can Do
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas about Living Ethically Hosted … Continue reading Peter Singer: The Most Good You Can Do
State of imprisonment: Victoria is leading the nation backwards
by Dr Marie Segrave, Dr Anna Eriksson and Emma Russell This article is part of The Conversation’s series, State … Continue reading State of imprisonment: Victoria is leading the nation backwards
Registrations open for 5th ACFID University Network Conference
Monash University, in partnership with ACFID, is hosting the 5th ACFID University Network Conference on … Continue reading Registrations open for 5th ACFID University Network Conference
Monash at the Malthouse Podcast: ‘Nothing to Lose’
Last month, Monash took part in a panel discussion at the Malthouse Theatre on body … Continue reading Monash at the Malthouse Podcast: ‘Nothing to Lose’
All things being equal
Are we making headway in getting greater women’s participation in Asia-Pacific politics? by Jacqui True … Continue reading All things being equal
Monash student wins Melbourne Press Club Student Journalist of the Year
Monash University’s Jenan Taylor has won the Melbourne Press Club’s 2014 Student Journalist of the … Continue reading Monash student wins Melbourne Press Club Student Journalist of the Year
A new degree sets new horizons
The Bachelor of Global Studies was officially launched last month by Dr Simon Adams, Executive Director … Continue reading A new degree sets new horizons
Apply now to study in Italy, New York or Indonesia this year
Monash Arts offers students a number of opportunities to make their study experience an international … Continue reading Apply now to study in Italy, New York or Indonesia this year
Monash academics draft working paper on ‘Women in Politics’
Monash Academics from the School of Social Sciences, Professor Jacqui True, Dr Swati Parashar and … Continue reading Monash academics draft working paper on ‘Women in Politics’
Joint PhD program offers global research opportunities for philosophy student
Thomas Ryan is the first Monash University student to study at the University of Warwick … Continue reading Joint PhD program offers global research opportunities for philosophy student