10 Jul 2007

Proto-Algonquian hot off the press at Lulu.com

Every once in a while I confess that I snoop around Lulu.com just to see what creative things up-and-coming authors and hobbyists are doing with the whole publishing-on-demand (POD) phenomenon. People like to poopoo the idea of self-publishing but frankly, I just don't see traditional publishing surviving through the 21st century without either evolving or being absorbed by this new wave. I have to say that the concept of being completely free to publish a book without upfront costs whatsoever and the end of the "tyranny of a middleman" to dilute creativity with marketability is an intriguing notion and a wonderfully democratic means of expressing niche points of view. While the down side might be many more crappy books on the market, the inevitable up side is a greater freedom of selection for the reader. Plus, it's ecofriendly. POD publishers aren't publishing any more books than what's ordered, unlike traditional publishers. We've lost too many trees already through decades of everyday bookstores buying books in bulk in the desperate hopes of selling each and every one à la extremist capitalism. Naturally, many of these books only end up amassed into unwanted heaps of pulp in warehouses. Egad.

Just recently I was astonished to discover a book on Proto-Algonquian, also available for free to download. I came across it when I searched for "protolanguage" on Lulu. Being that I live in Winnipeg where Cree and Ojibway (both from Proto-Algonquian) are the main Aboriginal languages spoken, it especially gives me a tingley feeling of joy to see. Regional pride and all that. The book in question is:

Some Prehistoric Algonquian Cultural Vocabulary
by Paul Proulx

Check it out. It's chalked full of information and as it turns out, the author is an avid lover of protolanguages. Yippee! Of course, poor Mr Proulx would also like to sell a book or two and it's only fair that we encourage people who wish to take the time to emancipate specialist information, normally tucked away in the crusty innards of a university library, and deliver it directly to the masses. I've always been a fan of Robin Hood.


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