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BLURBA masterpiece of linguistics scholarship, at once erudite and entertaining, confronts the thorny question of how and whether culture shapes language and language, culture.
Linguistics has long shied away from claiming any link between a language and the culture of its speakers too much simplistic even bigoted chatter about the romance of Italian and the goose stepping orderliness of German has made serious thinkers wary of the entire subject But now, acclaimed linguist Guy Deutscher has dared to reopen the issue Can culture influence language and vice versa Can different languages lead their speakers to different thoughts Could our experience of the world depend on whether our language has a word for blue Challenging the consensus that the fundaments of language are hard wired in our genes and thus universal, Deutscher argues that the answer to all these ques from the BrainyQuote Facebook pageNature or nurture In the mid 19th century, William Gladstone, eminent British statesman and, in view of how we think of politicians nowadays, improbable source of scientific erudition, noted through his Homeric studies that the ancients didn t see color as we do Wine dark sea And not only that, but violet sea, violet wool on sheep, and violet iron And green chl ros for yes, sprouts but twigs Cyclops club Honey Poetic license, scoffed his naysayers, but the patterns turned out to be too consistent for that He was on to something But what Were the ancients color blind Working just before the Darwinian revolution, Gladstone thought everyone did that acquired traits were handed down As in, the giraffe stretch This is what I call Having a Really Good Time Yes, I know, but then some people go ice fishing For fun So, if like me you are a language geek and have a fairly quiet life, then this might be your idea of a high old time too Because Guy Deutscher manages that most demanding combination On one hand, he is an academic linguist, which you might assume would mean he uses phrases like pro drop parameter or boundary conditions or declarative sentences or funny words like morpheme or evidentiality haha But on the other hand his writing style is playful, lucid, engaging and irresistibly amusing Yes, it s true, there is such a thing as an entertaining linguist.
Deutscher takes up the slightly disreputable idea that language may have some influence on our thought patterns This is the baby that was thrown out with the bathwater when Benjamin Lee Whorf s notion that language determines our pictur The first foreign language I learned to complete fluency was German after five years of high school German I spent a year at a German boys boarding school At the end of that year I was completely fluent, but noticed an odd phenomenon, that I felt like a slightly different person when I spoke German than when speaking English Since then I ve also learned Spanish to a high degree of fluency, and the same observation holds In both cases, the main difference that I perceive has to do with humor, and the way the language I m speaking affects my sense of humor So I ve always been interested in the extent to which language affects thought The notion that it does is what linguists refer to as the Sapir Whorf hypothesis Belief in Masterpiece Of Linguistics Scholarship, At Once Erudite And Entertaining, Confronts The Thorny Question Of How And Whether Culture Shapes Language And Language, CultureLinguistics Has Long Shied Away From Claiming Any Link Between A Language And The Culture Of Its Speakers Too Much Simplistic Even Bigoted Chatter About The Romance Of Italian And The Goose Stepping Orderliness Of German Has Made Serious Thinkers Wary Of The Entire Subject But Now, Acclaimed Linguist Guy Deutscher Has Dared To Reopen The Issue Can Culture Influence [ Pdf Through the Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World? í managers PDF ] by Guy Deutscher á Language And Vice Versa Can Different Languages Lead Their Speakers To Different Thoughts Could Our Experience Of The World Depend On Whether Our Language Has A Word For Blue Challenging The Consensus That The Fundaments Of Language Are Hard Wired In Our Genes And Thus Universal, Deutscher Argues That The Answer To All These Questions Is Yes In Thrilling Fashion, He Takes Us From Homer To Darwin, From Yale To The , From How To Name The Rainbow To Why Russian Water A She Becomes A He Once You Dip A Tea Bag Into Her, Demonstrating That Language Does In Fact Reflect Culture In Ways That Are Anything But Trivial Audacious, Delightful, And Field Changing, Through The Language Glass Is A Classic Of Intellectual Discovery ¾ Through the Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World? ☆ fMRI unfolding language .
I can understand people who feel that Through the Language Glass didn t quite fulfill its promise The subtitle might beaccurately, does the world look different in other languages And the answer is yes, but in a limited way that won t be satisfying to those who want the answer to be an unequivocal yes People feel that the world is different for them in different languages, and even that they are different in other languages, but there just isn t the scientific data to back those feelings up For me, and this is a brief digression, I do suspect that those who feel different when they speak other languages aren t taking into account context For example, say you speak Hebrew with your family and English in school You are a different person in those two contexts, but not because of the language you speak You re adapting yourself to the situatio I suppose I hold linguists to a higher standard than civilians regarding their word choice and articulation of ideas After all, if there s one category of people who should know about the power of words, it s this one Which is why I m so disappointed by this book.
The book is called Through the Language Glass Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages When you re done with it, you would expect to know why, according to the author, the world looks different in other languages And while one or two chapters towards the end of the book attempt to tackle this question, they only offer evidence relating to a few areas, namely colour, gender and geographical orientation Things that aren t exactly secrets, that most people who have heard about languages will already know vary from one to another.
The bulk of the b

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