rise and fall of languages

Tue Jun 23 09:39:15 UTC 1998

On Mon, 22 Jun 1998 "Bh.Krishnamurti" wrote

> I have just started reading Bob
> Dixon's new book The rise and fall of languages. He has some interesting
> insights on this question.

So far I have not yet seen R.M.W. Dixon's recent book (Cambridge, 1997), I am
trying to get hold of a copy. But I understood he tries to apply insights of
'New Biology' to linguistics. The resulting model apparently gives a well-
defined place both to creative periods in which many new languages emerge, and
periods of equilibrium in which linguistic areas are formed by diffusion of

This seems all very relevant to South Asia as a millennia old linguistic area
(Dixon focused on Australian languages), as well as to the reconstruction of
pre-Vedic, proto-Dravidian, proto-Munda etc. I will hence be interested in Bh.
Krishnamurti's learned opinion on the book, and sollicit also comments from
other Indological readers.


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