A Description of Spoken Prague Czech

Charles E. Townsend

Professor Townsend's book will be of interest not only to Bohemists, but also to students of Slavic linguistics and to sociolinguists, since spoken and written Czech are radically different and present an unusually interesting case of diglossia. The description of spoken Czech offered here stems first and foremost from detailed study of the speech of a large number of Prague speakers of various ages and backgrounds and from thorough questioning of many of them. A Description of Spoken Prague Czech is an effort to make accessible to researchers and students of Czech a language which is certainly a speech entity but which is very difficult to pinpoint and one which most Prague Bohemists refrain from defining, let alone describing. The relatively few existing studies of spoken Prague Czech, and the advice and comments of several Bohemists have been taken into account in the final version. "an essential supplement for advanced courses in Czech and essential for anyone who aspires to converse in the language. In addition, Description is a valuable document for all linguists with an interest in diglossia." (MLJ) "...not only a solid theoretical description of Common Czech, but above all a good language textbook ... a significant contribution...." (Czechoslovak and Central European Journal) "The newcomer to the labyrinthine mysteries of Czech speech-ways will be grateful to Townsend for this expert introduction." (MLR) "...a reliable reference guide and sourcebook..." (SEEJ).