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.
Open Day 2015
2 August, Caulfield and Clayton Campuses Discover a future with more. Start planning your Open … Continue reading Open Day 2015
Monash Arts students and alumni to perform at WinterFest
A band of Monash University students and alumni will return from an interstate tour to … Continue reading Monash Arts students and alumni to perform at WinterFest
‘Monash Country Lines’ Yanyuwa animations to be broadcast on NITV
Those interested in seeing the work of the Monash Country Lines project will soon have the … Continue reading ‘Monash Country Lines’ Yanyuwa animations to be broadcast on NITV
ACFID University Network Conference tackles development’s tough questions
As the UNDP noted at the end of 2013, ‘The world is more unequal today … Continue reading ACFID University Network Conference tackles development’s tough questions
Monash Arts celebrates student achievements at Awards events
Monash Arts recently held awards events recognising the achievements of the Faculty’s undergraduate and graduate … Continue reading Monash Arts celebrates student achievements at Awards events
Monash student elected to head new global youth network
Monash Arts student Siamak Sam Loni has been named Global Coordinator of the Sustainable Development … Continue reading Monash student elected to head new global youth network
Monash students bring The Handmaid’s Tale to life
A theatrical production of Margaret Atwood’s award winning novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, will premiere in … Continue reading Monash students bring The Handmaid’s Tale to life
Journalism Alumnae Finalists in the Young Walkleys
Monash University journalism alumnae Alana Mitchelson and Naomi Selvaratnam have been named finalists in the Young Walkley Awards to … Continue reading Journalism Alumnae Finalists in the Young Walkleys
Global Discovery in New York
Eight talented Monash students, including two students from Arts’ Master of International Development Practice, have … Continue reading Global Discovery in New York
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