Through the language glass : why the world looks different in other languages / Guy Deutscher.Material type: TextPublisher: New York : Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Co., c2010Edition: 1st edDescription: 304 p.,  p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cmISBN: 9780805081954; 080508195XSubject(s): Comparative linguistics | Historical linguistics | Language and languages in literatureLOC classification: P140 | .D475 2010
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|Book||University of Texas At Tyler Stacks - 3rd Floor||P140 .D475 2010 (Browse shelf)||Available||0000002137693|
|Book||University of Texas At Tyler Stacks - 3rd Floor||P140 .D475 2010 (Browse shelf)||Available||0000002007474|
Includes bibliographical references (p. -292) and index.
Language, culture, and thought -- 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 -- Crying Whorf -- Where the sun doesn't rise in the East -- Sex and syntax -- Russian blues -- Forgive us our ignorances.
A masterpiece of linguistics scholarship, at once erudite and entertaining, confronts the thorny question of how--and whether--culture shapes language and language, culture.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal ReviewDo the French have more esprit simply because they have a word for it? Or is it the other way round? Did Homer never describe the sea or sky as blue while mentioning violet sheep and green honey because he was colorblind? The explorations that Deutscher (former fellow, St. John's Coll., Cambridge; The Unfolding of Language) takes you on here are marvelous. He combines erudition, wry humor, and serious interpretation in this elegant and charmingly accessible study of the relation among language, culture, and thought and of how we have engaged in and reflected upon language over the years. Importantly, Deutscher takes issue with today's linguists who consider language as universally coded and inviolately distinct from culture. Deutscher's narrative introduces philologists, anthropologists, and linguists-beginning with William E. Gladstone!-and is rich with insight. Readers will find themselves enchanted by topics heretofore not even in their purview. Highly recommended for all who love accessible books on the history of thought and who love the warmth of writing that makes them think. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
CHOICE ReviewFor the most part, linguists believe that language has little or no influence over the way people think; that is, most linguists believe that the effects of language on culture are mainly superficial and, hence, unimportant. Deutscher (Univ. of Manchester, UK) takes the controversial opposing view. He postulates that language offers a lens through which one can view the world and that fundamental concepts such as color and direction, which seem natural and universal, are in reality influenced by language. Using well-known historical examples, the author supports his claim in a manner that is convincing and at same time enjoyable. A follow-up to his The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention (2006), this is now the first (recent) discussion of this concept, which diverges from widely accepted mainstream theories of universal grammars. Although Deutscher's claims initially sound outrageous, his detailed explanations and excellent examples help him make a persuasive case. A solid resource for linguists but written in an entertaining style that will appeal to more casual readers, this book should have a wide audience. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. P. J. Kurtz Minot State University
Author notes provided by SyndeticsGuy 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).
(Bowker Author Biography)