Download Reader ✓ Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World Þ Hannahredhead

Mobi Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World

Download Reader ✓ Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World Þ Hannahredhead ´ A New York Times Editor's ChoiceAn Economist Best Book of 2010A Financial Times Best Book of 2010A Library Journal Best Book of 2010The debate is ages old Where does language come from? IRough a strange and dazzling history of the color blue Deutscher argues that our mother tongues do indeed shape our experiences of the world Audacious delightful and provocative Through the Language Glass is destined to become a classic of intellectual discovery As a native Russian speaker I always felt different from Americans I've always wondered if the language i was brought up with altered my thinking in ways Americans weren't I was hoping to get the answer in this book and I was really disappointedThe book started out strong showing how 3 different languages defined culture in different ways French being most romantic and German being most brutal But then once I started reading the book it never really delved deeply into the subject of how language affects thought or behavior The intro and reviews it was recommended on New York Times made it sound like a book about language affecting thought IT wasn'tI liked Deutchers' writing style He was easy to read and funny I liked his use of many examples and then defining the examples to make it REALLY easy to understand However he NEVER really defined how A Language makes ONE society's thought be different from another's He talked a little bit how a language FORCES one to pay attention and speak in a specific way I really loved his example of how some cultures only have N S E W directions instead of front back left right I understand what he said I liked his analysis on how can all language be eually complex? they cant But i wish there were examples like that More than half of the book waaay too much was devoted to how different societies define colors For example how many cultures only have one word for green and blue Maybe it's just that many studies haven't been done on language and culture I don't know Then he devoted a TINY section of the book to sex of objects but not enoughThis book should have been titled Culture and Color I would have been less let down if he JUST focused on color he did so for than half the book and talk about other stuff sex of objects directions in another book Through the Language Glass was interesting and well researched but not what the book intro claimed to be about

Guy Deutscher ´ Kindle

A New York Times Editor's ChoiceAn Economist Best Book of 2010A Financial Times Best Book of 2010A Library Journal Best Book of 2010The debate is ages old Where does language come from? Is it an artifact of our culture or written in our very DNA? In recent years This is a fascinating book about how culture shapes language and how language shapes our view of reality Guy Deutscher is a linguist and he separates out in some detail the facts of this subject from fictionBecause there is a lot of fiction Much of what we have heard about how language shapes our world view is false Nietzsche's line that the limits of my language mean the limits of my world is absolutely false A true statement would be Languages differ in what they must convey not in what they may convey In other words languages force their speakers to use certain words in describing concepts but languages do not constrain their speakers from discussing conceptsThe fact that a language lacks a word that describes some concept does not mean that its speakers are unaware of that concept It just means probably that the concept is either not too important in that culture or that it is so all encompassing that it does not reuire a special word The first half of the book discusses the language mirror that is how language mirrors its culture The second part discusses the language lens how language shapes the world view of its speakersThe book starts out with a description of a big study by the prime minister of England William Gladstone of the works of Homer in one chapter he shows that the ancient Greeks did not use words that describe most colors They used words for black and white and rarely red or other colors He concluded that the ancient Greeks were color blind and that over the course of millennia evolution changed human visionGladstone was originally criticized for his outrageous theory but in a sense he was right on the mark The ancient Greeks did not have words for all the colors and it was evolution cultural evolution that gradually brought color words into the Greek vocabulary And it wasn't just the ancient Greeks Many contemporary languages in remote corners of the globe also have few words for colorsIt used to be thought that the complexity of a language mirrors the complexity of its society It is virtually impossible to objectively measure the overall complexity of a language But the complexity of certain aspects of a language are measurable For example the morphological complexity of a language the complexity of individual words is inversely correlated with the size of population that speaks it This is rather surprising and the author can only speculate on the reasons One amazing example is given in the language of the Matses a small tribe on the Their verbs are incredibly complex They have four past tense forms of verbs that describe how far back in time an action took place But in addition verbs must also describe evidentiality The verb must describe how the speaker learned of the action Does the verb express a direct experience something the speaker saw with his own eyes or something inferred something conjectured or hearsay? Each and every verb must describe all this detail in a single wordI found the language lens to be absolutely fascinating It is very difficult for linguists or psychologists to isolate some aspect of a person's world view and to say that it is not only correlated with but caused by some aspect of his language But this has been done definitively in three areas; spatial concepts gender and color For example in English and most European languages I think there are both ego centric up down in front behind left right and geo centric North South East West descriptors But some languages only have ego centric desriptors while others have only geo centric words Ego centric descriptors are mostly useful in urban areas such as when you need to give someone directions go up the elevator to the 5th floor turn right pass two doors and take the corridor on the left In the countryside geo centric descriptions might sometimes be useful the river running to the south of the lake The tribes that speak languages that only have geo centric descriptions learn from a very early age to set up an internal compass This compass works regardless of visibility conditions; it works in a dense forest in swamps sand dunes and in caves Only if your transport the speaker of such a language by airplane does he lose his sense of direction It's hard to imagine that such a person will never say the cow to my left but instead would say the cow to the north of meOccasionally this book seems a bit repetitive But it is a fine example of scientific digging for subtle answers to important uestions

Doc ☆ ´ Guy Deutscher

Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World The leading linguists have seemingly settled the issue all languages are fundamentally the same and the particular language we speak does not shape our thinking in any significant way Guy Deutscher says they're wrong From Homer to Darwin from Yale to the and th 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 uiet 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 linguistDeutscher 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 picture of reality was rejected as fanciful Whorf made some rather presumptuous assumptions claiming that language constrained our minds and prevented us from being able to understand certain concepts If a language has no future tense for example then its speakers would not have any grasp of the notion of future time Laughable really but it was a theory that had currency for years Once that theory had crashed it became unfashionable to even think about the possibility that thought patterns might be influenced by language but Deutscher examines how different languages force their speakers to pay attention to certain aspects of reality One of the most impressive examples is the Australian Aboriginal language Guugu Yimithirr from north ueensland Guugu Yimithirr does not use words like “left” or “right” “in front of” or “behind” to describe the position of objects Whenever we would use the egocentric system the Guugu Yimithirr rely on cardinal directions If they want you to move over on the car seat to make room they’ll say “move a bit to the east” To tell you where exactly they left something in your house they’ll say “I left it on the southern edge of the western table” Or they would warn you to “look out for that big ant just north of your foot” Even when shown a film on television they gave descriptions of it based on the orientation of the screen If the television was facing north and a man on the screen was approaching they said that he was “coming northward” As one might expect this necessity of specifying geographic directions all of the time means that the speakers of this language and there are others in the world that are similar have to develop an unfailing sense of orientation Which of course they do being able to 'feel' where north and south east and west are in the same way as we feel where behind is Actually it saves the trouble you get with rotation when you use the egocentric right and left no would you need to ask your left or mine? East is eastDeutscher is cautious about leaping to any other conclusion than saying that language can develop a certain habit of mind and speculating that there may be correlated influences on such things as memory or learning But further than that he will not go as the evidence is just not available yet despite some fantastically ingenious testing methods to explore cognitive faculties I do find that ingenuity amazing but Deutscher points out in his epilogue that the ingenuity reuired is a sign of weakness it is needed because we know so little about how the brain works Were we not profoundly ignorant we would not need to rely on roundabout methods of gleaning information from measures such as reaction speed to various contrived tasks True enough I suppose But I'm impressed none the less