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How Many Languages Do We Need?The Economics of Linguistic Diversity$
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Victor Ginsburgh and Shiomo Weber

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691136899

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691136899.001.0001

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Linguistic, Genetic, and Cultural Distances: How Far Is Nostratic?

Linguistic, Genetic, and Cultural Distances: How Far Is Nostratic?

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 3 Linguistic, Genetic, and Cultural Distances: How Far Is Nostratic?
Source:
How Many Languages Do We Need?
Author(s):

Victor Ginsburgh

Shlomo Weber

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691136899.003.0004

This chapter discusses the linguistic, genetic, and cultural aspects of a society or a nation. These aspects are often correlated, since all three are closely linked not only to nature but also to learning and history, that is, nurture. One can therefore wonder when it is appropriate to choose one or the other in representing the proximity of individuals or groups to which they belong. In some cases, one of the measures is obvious. This is so when describing the difficulty of acquiring a foreign language, though even here there may be other types of proximities at work between, say, a Swedish and a Danish speaker than the mere proximity of the two languages. Otherwise there is no obvious answer, and certainly no theory to invoke.

Keywords:   linguistic diversity, language, genetics, culture, linguistic distance, cultural distance

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