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.
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
Margaret Kartomi receives major award in Indonesia
Monash Arts ethnomusicologist Professor Margaret Kartomi has received the 2016 Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture’s prestigious … Continue reading Margaret Kartomi receives major award in Indonesia
Monash students from SDSN Youth on creating social change
SDSN Youth is one of the leading global networks in sustainable development. Launched in … Continue reading Monash students from SDSN Youth on creating social change
Significant investment for the performing arts at Monash University
Monash Chinese Studies students awarded study scholarships in language competition
Last week saw Monash Arts students win the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Language Proficiency Competition for Foreign University … Continue reading Monash Chinese Studies students awarded study scholarships in language competition