Friday, 26 June 2009

David Crystal kaj la Kimralingvo


David Crystal thinks a lot about words and how we use them. Mr. Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales.

He has written more than 100 books, but perhaps is best known for his Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language.

Don’t be put off, however, by the image of a stuffy academic. Mr. Crystal has also written several marvelous books that open minds to the power, complexity and delight of language…

….“Words, Words, Words” (Oxford, 2006) shares the author’s passion that developed early on as he discovered the beauty of his family’s native Welsh — which he initially did not speak.

He credits his Uncle Joe, who did speak Welsh, for turning him on to the study of language when, as a young child, he asked why an adult chaperone had called the children “plant.”

His Uncle Joe told him “that ‘plant’ meant ‘children’ — and then, perhaps sensing an interest, he went to tell me that my name was ‘Dafydd’ in Welsh. I took it in avidly.”

Mr. Crystal went on to learn “Welsh along side English, and Welsh English along side English English. And Irish English ... my mother’s side were Irish” which led to exposure to Irish (Gaelic) and — from the church — Latin...

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