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FREE PDF ↠ BOOK Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World Ù GYMAPPAREL Á [Epub] ❧ Through the Language Glass How Words Colour Your World? By Guy Deutscher – A New York Times Editor's ChoiceAn Economist Best Book of 2010A Financial Times Best BA 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 Technological Kickback Language is a form of technology perhaps the source technology from which all others are generated even if academic linguists have difficulty in seeing it as such Language may not look like look a technology because it’s largely invisible It takes time and effort to master but then it’s taken for granted so that it is no longer noticed But like any technology it does things for people which couldn’t be done without it And like all technologies language does things to the people who use it which they never anticipated In both senses as tool and as environment language is the most powerful technology ever createdOr accurately the most powerful family of technologies because while all languages allow the same things to be achieved they don’t do that in the same way Some languages like Ancient Greek are extremely precise and complicated in their components words or as Deutscher calls them labels and how these work together grammar to form very precise expressions Others like Hebrew are noticeably lacking in many of these features like extensive vocabularies and tenses Yet both can be used or less efficiently to express the same ideas Concepts seem constant while the labels change Or do they?The mechanism of the language machine works on us as well as through us Eons before the term Artificial Intelligence was coined language itself took on a life of its own and started influencing the lives of human beings in ways of which we are entirely unaware Its categories and its logics come to be perceived as natural as an expression of the way the world really is Things and labels became conjoined Linguistic truth becomes confused with reality Reasonableness another linguistic trait becomes a universal standard of human behaviour Language runs the show Deutscher calls it culture which is shorthand for language at workOf course it isn’t possible to even discuss the hegemony of language outside of language So the deck is stacked from the start But it turns out that there’s a crack in the Great Linguistic Wall Each language has some distinctively uniue effects on the human beings who use it Differences can be compared in order to ‘out’ the concealed structures that each language imposes These differences typically hide in plain sight As Deutscher says “it turns out that the most significant connections between language culture and thought are to be found where they are least expected in those places where healthy common sense would suggest that all cultures and all languages should be exactly the same” Culture likes to masuerade as human nature Most religions and generally ideologies for example claim that their precepts simply reflect the authentic ‘being’ of Homo sapiens and the society that species has created The discovery that other cultures had different ideas about what constitutes true humanity typically provokes a sort of fundamentalist response of cultural superiority And naturally this response is expressed in words which often contain within themselves the very superiority being argued What the fundamentalists themselves don’t understand is that they are being used by the language they think they controlThis is an important book and not just because it is an interesting and entertaining exposition of recent language research More importantly it lifts the veil of language just enough to see its creative mechanism at work No language provides a neutral objective description of the world All languages come with historical and ideological baggage which directs attention and prejudices conversation as much as it allows communication and cooperation It probably takes as much effort to recognise this as it does to learn a language in the first place The fact is that “language is a cultural convention that doesn’t masuerade as anything but a cultural convention” Yes just like the internet claims to be nothing than a socially liberating form of communication Deutscher calls it a ‘lens’ I’m generalising a bit from that; but I think making the metaphor useful The title as well as the contents is an obliue homage to the philosopher Richard Rorty's 1981 Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature It often does take social sciences actually science in general one or two generations to catch up with good philosophy

DOC ✓ ↠ Guy Deutscher

Rough 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 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

Guy Deutscher ↠ BOOK

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