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The leading linguists have seemingly settled the issue all languages are fundamentally the same and the Language Glass PDFEPUB #195 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. 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 Sapir Whorf reached its peak in the first half of the 20th century but since then the notion that language affects cognition has been discredited by almost all mainstream linguistsIn Through the Language Glass Guy Deutscher mounts a careful very limited defence of the Sapir Whorf hypothesis He considers three major areas the link between language and color perception how different languages deal with spatial orientation and the phenomenon of differences in noun genders across different languages His examination of the link between language and color perception is extensive and thought provoking he traces the development of linguistic theory on color perception from British prime minister Gladstone's commentary on the relative paucity of color terms in Homer's work through the Berlin Kay model stating essentially that languages all tend to split up the color spectrum in similar ways through very recent experiments suggesting that the existence of a particular color distinction in a language eg the existence of separate terms in Russian for light and dark blue affects the brain's ability to perceive that distinction Deutscher's account of the evolution of linguistic theory about color perception is a tour de force of scientific writing for a general audience it is both crystal clear and a pleasure to readTwo factors contributed to my eventual disappointment with this book The first is that even after Deutscher's careful elouent persuasive analysis one's final reaction has to be a regretful So what In the end it all seems to amount to little of practical importance The second disappointment pertained only to the experience of reading this book on an Kindle Reference is made throughout to a color insert which evidently contained several color wheels as well as up to a dozen color illustrations This feature was completely absent from the Kindle edition which had a severe adverse effect on the overall experience of reading this book Obviously this point is relevant only if you are contemplating reading the Kindle version DON'T
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Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your WorldRough a strange and the Language Glass How Words Epubdazzling 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 discover. I can understand people who feel that Through the Language Glass didn't uite fulfill its promise The subtitle might be accurately 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 uneuivocal 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 upFor 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 situation including the language I suspect that even years after that division is so clear where you might speak Hebrew to someone in the workplace the associations remainAnyway I found the book itself a bit dense and prone to repetition but overall very interesting I loved the discussion of the issue of colour in Homer's work as it's something that inevitably came up when discussing his epithets in class Why wine dark sea How could the sea look like wine And this book has the answerIt's fairly conservative in its conclusions not going beyond the available data and mocking rather people who did go beyond their data and explaining everything at some length rather than packing in various new ideas It does include a lot of examples and interesting facts about various languages like languages which don't use egocentric directions but always geographical ones I would've been interested in a bit on gendered language but it doesn't seem as if the work has been done there yet It also gives some credit for ideas that were ahead of their time even if they were founded on shaky principles which was interestingUltimately Deutscher explains why early assumptions that language affects the way we perceive the world were wrong but then goes on to explain that that instinctive feeling isn't wrong in itself
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Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World? Read & download í PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ [EPUB] ✵ Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World? ✸ Guy Deutscher – Insolpro.co.uk A New York Times Editor's ChoicA New Language Glass PDF #201 York Times Editor's ChoiceAn Economist Best Book of A Financial Times Best Book of A Library Journal Best Book of The debate is ages old Where does language come Through the ePUB #187 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