Through the Language Glass

Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages
Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 9781429970112
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 320
View: 5622

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A 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 questions is—yes. In thrilling fashion, he takes us from Homer to Darwin, from Yale to the Amazon, 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.

Through the Language Glass

Why The World Looks Different In Other Languages
Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 144649490X
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 320
View: 5732

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"Guy Deutscher is that rare beast, an academic who talks good sense about linguistics... he argues in a playful and provocative way, that our mother tongue does indeed affect how we think and, just as important, how we perceive the world." Observer *Does language reflect the culture of a society? *Is our mother-tongue a lens through which we perceive the world? *Can different languages lead their speakers to different thoughts? In Through the Language Glass, acclaimed author Guy Deutscher will convince you that, contrary to the fashionable academic consensus of today, the answer to all these questions is - yes. A delightful amalgam of cultural history and popular science, this book explores some of the most fascinating and controversial questions about language, culture and the human mind.

Through the Language Glass

Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages
Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0099505576
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 309
View: 2664

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"Guy Deutscher's new book explores the contentious issue of how language, culture and thought intereact with and influence each other. Both a more ambitious and more accessible (as far less technical) book than his previous The Unfolding of Language, Language and Culture argues that languages do affect the ways we see the world far more than is usually claimed these days, by such writers as Steven Pinker."

The Unfolding of Language

An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention
Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 1466837837
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 368
View: 862

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Blending the spirit of Eats, Shoots & Leaves with the science of The Language Instinct, an original inquiry into the development of that most essential-and mysterious-of human creations: Language Language is mankind's greatest invention-except, of course, that it was never invented." So begins linguist Guy Deutscher's enthralling investigation into the genesis and evolution of language. If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of "man throw spear," how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced degrees of meaning? Drawing on recent groundbreaking discoveries in modern linguistics, Deutscher exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human communication, giving us fresh insight into how language emerges, evolves, and decays. He traces the evolution of linguistic complexity from an early "Me Tarzan" stage to such elaborate single-word constructions as the Turkish sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz ("you are one of those whom we couldn't turn into a town dweller"). Arguing that destruction and creation in language are intimately entwined, Deutscher shows how these processes are continuously in operation, generating new words, new structures, and new meanings. As entertaining as it is erudite, The Unfolding of Language moves nimbly from ancient Babylonian to American idiom, from the central role of metaphor to the staggering triumph of design that is the Semitic verb, to tell the dramatic story and explain the genius behind a uniquely human faculty.

Language Through the Looking Glass

Exploring Language and Linguistics
Author: Marina Yaguello,Trevor A. Le V. Harris
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780198700050
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 174
View: 1715

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What can wordplay--as understood in the broadest sense--teach us about language, its functions, characteristics, structure, and workings? Using Lewis Carroll's Alice as a starting point, Yanguello takes the reader on a vivid and unconventional voyage into the world(s) of language, charting the major themes of linguistics along the way. This is an entertaining and original introduction to the nature of language that will appeal to students and teachers alike.

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

Translation and the Meaning of Everything
Author: David Bellos
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0865478724
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 384
View: 722

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A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year People speak different languages, and always have. The Ancient Greeks took no notice of anything unless it was said in Greek; the Romans made everyone speak Latin; and in India, people learned their neighbors' languages—as did many ordinary Europeans in times past (Christopher Columbus knew Italian, Portuguese, and Castilian Spanish as well as the classical languages). But today, we all use translation to cope with the diversity of languages. Without translation there would be no world news, not much of a reading list in any subject at college, no repair manuals for cars or planes; we wouldn't even be able to put together flat-pack furniture. Is That a Fish in Your Ear? ranges across the whole of human experience, from foreign films to philosophy, to show why translation is at the heart of what we do and who we are. Among many other things, David Bellos asks: What's the difference between translating unprepared natural speech and translating Madame Bovary? How do you translate a joke? What's the difference between a native tongue and a learned one? Can you translate between any pair of languages, or only between some? What really goes on when world leaders speak at the UN? Can machines ever replace human translators, and if not, why? But the biggest question Bellos asks is this: How do we ever really know that we've understood what anybody else says—in our own language or in another? Surprising, witty, and written with great joie de vivre, this book is all about how we comprehend other people and shows us how, ultimately, translation is another name for the human condition.

Through the Language Glass

How Words Colour Your World
Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780434016907
Category: Comparative linguistics
Page: 309
View: 9973

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"Guy Deutscher is that rare beast, an academic who talks good sense about linguisticsa he argues in a playful and provocative way, that our mother tongue does indeed affect how we think and, just as important, how we perceive the world." Observer *Does language reflect the culture of a society? *Is our mother-tongue a lens through which we perceive the world? *Can different languages lead their speakers to different thoughts? In Through the Language Glass, acclaimed author Guy Deutscher will convince you that, contrary to the fashionable academic consensus of today, the answer to all these questions is - yes. A delightful amalgam of cultural history and popular science, this book explores some of the most fascinating and controversial questions about language, culture and the human mind.

Found in Translation

How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World
Author: Nataly Kelly,Jost Zetzsche
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101611928
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 288
View: 6202

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Translation. It’s everywhere we look, but seldom seen—until now. Found in Translation reveals the surprising and complex ways that translation shapes the world. Covering everything from holy books to hurricane warnings and poetry to peace treaties, Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche offer language lovers and pop culture fans alike an insider’s view of the ways in which translation spreads culture, fuels the global economy, prevents wars, and stops the outbreak of disease. Examples include how translation plays a key role at Google, Facebook, NASA, the United Nations, the Olympics, and more.

Empires of the Word

A Language History of the World
Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062047359
Category: History
Page: 640
View: 2031

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Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.

The Entropy Crisis


Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9812779698
Category: Science
Page: 172
View: 8070

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Intends to prove that the "energy crisis" is an entropy crisis. This book uses examples from daily experiences to introduce the concept of entropy. It shows that the entropy increase due to irreversible transformations simultaneously determines the level of fresh energy supplies of our society and the damage that it causes to the environment.

Syntactic Change in Akkadian

The Evolution of Sentential Complementation
Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0198299885
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 204
View: 9003

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Akkadian, an ancient Semitic language spoken in Assyria and Babylonia, is one of the earliest known languages, with a surviving written history from 2500BC to 500BC. Guy Deutscher investigates its development over these two millennia. He shows that changes in the language can be linked to the emergence of complex patterns of communication required by an increasingly sophisticated civilization.

Lost in Translation

An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Author: Ella Frances Sanders
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 1607747111
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 112
View: 6828

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An artistic collection of more than 50 drawings featuring unique, funny, and poignant foreign words that have no direct translation into English. Did you know that the Japanese language has a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there’s a Finnish word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to rest? Lost in Translation brings to life more than fifty words that don’t have direct English translations with charming illustrations of their tender, poignant, and humorous definitions. Often these words provide insight into the cultures they come from, such as the Brazilian Portuguese word for running your fingers through a lover’s hair, the Italian word for being moved to tears by a story, or the Swedish word for a third cup of coffee. In this clever and beautifully rendered exploration of the subtleties of communication, you’ll find new ways to express yourself while getting lost in the artistry of imperfect translation. From the Hardcover edition.

Linguistic Relativity

Evidence Across Languages and Cognitive Domains
Author: Caleb Everett
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 3110308142
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 306
View: 6364

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The claim that crosslinguistic disparities foster differences in nonlinguistic thought, often referred to as 'linguistic relativity', has for some time been the subject of intense debate. For much of that time the debate was not informed by much experimental work. Recently, however, there has been an explosion of research on linguistic relativity, carried out by numerous scholars interested in the interaction between language and nonlinguistic cognition. This book surveys the rapidly accruing research on this topic, much of it carried out in the last decade. Structured so as to be accessible to students and scholars in linguistics, psychology, and anthropology, it first introduces crucial concepts in the study of language and cognition. It then explores the relevant experimentally oriented research, focusing independently on the evidence for relativistic effects in spatial orientation, temporal perception, number recognition, color discrimination, object/substance categorization, gender construal, as well as other facets of cognition. This is the only book to extensively survey the recent work on linguistic relativity, and should serve as a critical resource for those concerned with the topic.

Rethinking Linguistic Relativity


Author: John J. Gumperz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521448901
Category: History
Page: 488
View: 1675

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Linguistic relativity is the claim that culture, through language, affects the way in which we think, and especially our classification of the experienced world. This book reexamines ideas about linguistic relativity in the light of new evidence and changes in theoretical climate. The editors have provided a substantial introduction that summarizes changes in thinking about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis in the light of developments in anthropology, linguistics and cognitive science. Introductions to each section will be of especial use to students.

The Language Hoax


Author: John H. McWhorter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199361606
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 224
View: 2597

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Japanese has a term that covers both green and blue. Russian has separate terms for dark and light blue. Does this mean that Russians perceive these colors differently from Japanese people? Does language control and limit the way we think? This short, opinionated book addresses the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which argues that the language we speak shapes the way we perceive the world. Linguist John McWhorter argues that while this idea is mesmerizing, it is plainly wrong. It is language that reflects culture and worldview, not the other way around. The fact that a language has only one word for eat, drink, and smoke doesn't mean its speakers don't process the difference between food and beverage, and those who use the same word for blue and green perceive those two colors just as vividly as others do. McWhorter shows not only how the idea of language as a lens fails but also why we want so badly to believe it: we're eager to celebrate diversity by acknowledging the intelligence of peoples who may not think like we do. Though well-intentioned, our belief in this idea poses an obstacle to a better understanding of human nature and even trivializes the people we seek to celebrate. The reality -- that all humans think alike -- provides another, better way for us to acknowledge the intelligence of all peoples.

Lingo

Around Europe in Sixty Languages
Author: Gaston Dorren
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802190944
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 320
View: 8050

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Whether you're a frequent visitor to Europe or just an armchair traveler, the surprising and extraordinary stories in Lingo will forever change the way you think about the continent, and may even make you want to learn a new language. Lingo spins the reader on a whirlwind tour of sixty European languages and dialects, sharing quirky moments from their histories and exploring their commonalities and differences. Most European languages are descended from a single ancestor, a language not unlike Sanskrit known as Proto-Indo-European (or PIE for short), but the continent's ever-changing borders and cultures have given rise to a linguistic and cultural diversity that is too often forgotten in discussions of Europe as a political entity. Lingo takes us into today's remote mountain villages of Switzerland, where Romansh is still the lingua franca, to formerly Soviet Belarus, a country whose language was Russified by the Bolsheviks, to Sweden, where up until the 1960s polite speaking conventions required that one never use the word "you" in conversation, leading to tiptoeing questions of the form: "Would herr generaldirektör Rexed like a biscuit?" Spanning six millenia and sixty languages in bite-size chapters, Lingo is a hilarious and highly edifying exploration of how Europe speaks.

Mind Code

How the Language We Use Influences the Way We Think
Author: Charles E. Bailey
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 1936264269
Category: Science
Page: 512
View: 5898

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Mind Code describes how we know the world we live in and how language and semantics shape this knowledge by influencing the way we think, feel, and behave — how we relate to that world and to others. Mind Code puts life as we know it into a coherent, systematic perspective that explains functional relations and processes across biological organisms, natural language, brains, and the physical world. The concept of a mind code comes from deciphering and understanding the key to the natural language code. Thus we have the key for understanding the how and why of human thought. We hold the key that can enhance our harmonious interaction with nature and the practical application of cooperative behavior across humanity.

Understanding Cultures through Their Key Words

English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese
Author: Anna Wierzbicka
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195358490
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 328
View: 6715

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This book develops the dual themes that languages can differ widely in their vocabularies, and are also sensitive indices to the cultures to which they belong. Wierzbicka seeks to demonstrate that every language has "key concepts," expressed in "key words," which reflect the core values of a given culture. She shows that cultures can be revealingly studied, compared, and explained to outsiders through their key concepts, and that the analytical framework necessary for this purpose is provided by the "natural semantic metalanguage," based on lexical universals, that the author and colleagues have developed on the basis of wide-ranging cross-linguistic investigations. Appealing to anthropologists, psychologists, and philosophers as well as linguists, this book demonstrates that cultural patterns can be studied in a verifiable, rigorous, and non-speculative way, on the basis of empirical evidence and in a coherent theoretical framework.

Words, Words, Words


Author: David Crystal
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199210772
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 216
View: 5234

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Words, Words, Words is all about the wonder of words. Drawing on a lifetime's experience, David Crystal explores language in all its rich varieties through words: the very building blocks of our communication. Language has no life of its own: it only exists in the mouths and ears, hands, eyes and brains of its users. As we are guided expertly and passionately through the mysteries and delights of word origins, histories, spellings, regional and social variations, taboo words, jargon,and wordplay, the contribution we all play in shaping the linguistic world around us becomes evident. Words, Words, Words is a celebration of what we say and how we say it. It invites us to engage linguistically with who we are: to understand what words tell us about where we come from and what we do. And as they continually shape our lives, it suggests ways that we can look at words anew and get involved with collecting and coining words ourselves.

Language Myths


Author: Laurie Bauer
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141939109
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 208
View: 6702

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A unique collection of original essays by 21 of the world's leading linguists. The topics discussed focus on some of the most popular myths about language: The Media Are Ruining English; Children Can't Speak or Write Properly Anymore; America is Ruining the English Language. The tone is lively and entertaining throughout and there are cartoons from Doonesbury andThe Wizard of Id to illustrate some of the points. The book should have a wide readership not only amongst students who want to read leading linguists writing about popular misconceptions but also amongst the large number of people who enjoy reading about language in general.