Through the Language Glass Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages

ISBN-10: 080508195X
ISBN-13: 9780805081954
Edition: 2010
Authors: Guy Deutscher
List price: $28.00
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Description: A 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.00
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication date: 8/31/2010
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

A 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 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 Glassis a classic of intellectual discovery.

Guy Deutscher was born in Tel Aviv in 1969. He received an undergraduate degree in Math and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Cambridge. Afterward, he became a fellow in historical linguistics at St. John's College at Cambridge. He later became a honorary research fellow at the University of Manchester and was a professor in the department of Ancient Near Eastern Languages at the University of Leiden in Holland. He has written several books including Syntactic Change in Akkadian (2000), The Unfolding of Language (2005), and Through the Language Glass (2010).

Prologue: Language, Culture, and Thought
The Language Mirror
Naming the Rainbow
A Long-Wave Herring
The Rude Populations Inhabiting Foreign Lands
Those Who said our Things before us
Plato and the Macedonian Swineherd
The Language Lens
Crying Whorf
Where the Sun Doesn't Rise in the East
Sex and Syntax
Russian Blues
Epilogue: Forgive Us Our Ignorances
Appendix: Color: In the Eye of the Beholder
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Illustration Credits
Index

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