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: 2600

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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: 4096

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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: 3031

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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."

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: 5555

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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: 2713

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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.

Empires of the Word

A Language History of the World
Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062047359
Category: History
Page: 640
View: 8895

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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 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: 3465

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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.

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: 2893

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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.

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: 2185

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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.

Rethinking Linguistic Relativity


Author: John J. Gumperz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521448901
Category: History
Page: 488
View: 9601

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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.

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: 6148

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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.

Spoken Here

Travels among Threatened Languages
Author: Mark Abley
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 0307368238
Category: Social Science
Page: 336
View: 965

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Whether on the other side of the world or in our own backyard, languages everywhere are fading into oblivion. Mark Abley explores what the human family stands to lose — and explains why some endangered languages continue to thrive. Within the next couple of generations, most of the world’s 6000 languages will vanish, due mainly to the unstoppable tide of English. With an open mind and a well-worn passport, award-winning journalist and poet Mark Abley tells entertaining and vital stories about why languages matter. From Oklahoma to Provence, aboriginal Australia to Baffin Island, the cultures are radically different, but the problems of shrinking linguistic and cultural richness are painfully similar. Abley’s investigation provides a stunning glimpse of the beauty and intricacies of languages like Yiddish and Yuchi, Mohawk and Manx, Inuktitut and Provençal. More importantly, it offers a sympathetic and memorable portrait of the people who still speak languages under threat. When a language dies out, gone too are stories that have been told for centuries, unique ways of seeing the world, and perhaps even ways of solving problems both large and small. Abley believes we must see languages as abundant sources of richness, wonder and usefulness. And he shows that hope still exists: that the determination of even one person can revive a whole language and its culture, in the process creating something new, changing and alive — exactly what languages do best. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Language Hoax


Author: John H. McWhorter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199361606
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 224
View: 4422

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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.

Language Diversity and Thought

A Reformulation of the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis
Author: John A. Lucy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521387972
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 328
View: 1526

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An examination of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis on the relationship between grammar and thought.

Lingo

Around Europe in Sixty Languages
Author: Gaston Dorren
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802190944
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 320
View: 8869

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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.

Basic Color Terms

Their Universality and Evolution
Author: Brent Berlin,Paul Kay
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520076358
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 196
View: 2192

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Explores the psychophysical and neurophysical determinants of cross-linguistic constraints on the shape of color lexicons.

A Short History of Linguistics


Author: R.H. Robins
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317891112
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 296
View: 7063

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This complete revision and updating of Professor Robins' classic text offers a comprehensive account of the history of linguistic thought from its European origins some 2500 years ago to the present day. It examines the independent development of linguistic science in China and Medieval Islam, and especially in India, which was to have a profound effect on European and American linguistics from the end of the eighteenth century. The fourth edition of A Short History of Linguistics gives a greater prominence to the work of Wilhelm von Humboldt, because of the lasting importance of his work on language in relation to general eighteenth century thinking and of its perceived relevance in the latter half of the twentieth century to several aspects of generative grammatical theory. The final section, covering the twentieth century, has been rewritten and divided into two new chapters, so as to deal effectively with the increasingly divergent development of descriptive and theoretical linguistics that took place in the latter half of this century. Readable and authoritative, Professor Robins' introduction provides a clear and up-to-date overview of all the major issues in the light of contemporary scholarly debate, and will be essential reading for undergraduate and graduate students of linguistics alike.

Language Myths


Author: Laurie Bauer
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141939109
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 208
View: 6601

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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.

The Illustrated Book of Sayings

Curious Expressions from Around the World
Author: Ella Frances Sanders
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 1607749335
Category: ART
Page: 112
View: 2925

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"An illustrated collection of the world's strangest and most wonderful expressions, idioms, and proverbs"--

Language

The Cultural Tool
Author: Daniel Leonard Everett
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 0307378535
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 351
View: 2718

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Building on a controversial premise that refutes the opinions of most linguists to argue that language is a unique and essential cultural tool, an anthropological and psychological report contends that language is a human, societally driven invention that can be reinvented and lost.