Language, Literature, and Community

By Pierre Janton
Edited by Humphrey Tonkin
Translated by Jane Edwards & Karen Johnson-Weiner

Subjects: Linguistics
Paperback : 9780791412541, 169 pages, December 1992
Hardcover : 9780791412534, 169 pages, December 1992

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Editor's Preface



Chapter 1. Esperanto and Planned Languages

Chapter 2. The Origins of Esperanto

Chapter 3. The Language

Chapter 4. Expression

Chapter 5. The Literature

Chapter 6. The Esperanto Movement

Chapter 7. Conclusion





Esperanto, spoken by thousands of people across the world, is the most successful international language project. In this book, the French linguist and literary critic Pierre Janton describes the history of Esperanto since its invention in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe and offers a comprehensive linguistic description of the language. This book is the best general introduction to Esperanto and its role in the modern world.

Rooted in the populism and internationalism of the late nineteenth century, Esperanto owes its origins in part to western European educational currents and in part to the cultural history of eastern European Jewry. It is a fascinating historical and sociological phenomenon as well as a remarkable linguistic system.

The book contains a survey of today's movement for the promotion of Esperanto as an international language, and a description of the extensive literature in Esperanto, both original and translated. Janton also provides a survey of the other global language projects, explaining why Esperanto has prevailed.

Pierre Janton is Professor of English language and literature at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, in France. He is a specialist in linguistics and in the literature of the English Reformation. Humphrey Tonkin is President of the University of Hartford and a specialist in English literature and Esperanto studies, and is chairman of the board of the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems. Jane Edwards teaches folklore, anthropology, and literature at the University of Hartford.