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Language: The Cultural Tool
Language: The Cultural Tool
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Language: The Cultural Tool

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Author: Everett, Daniel L.

Brand: Vintage

Color: Gold

Edition: Illustrated

Number Of Pages: 368

Release Date: 11-12-2012

Details: Product Description “The most important—and provocative—anthropological fieldwork ever undertaken.” —Tom Wolfe  For years, the prevailing opinion among academics has been that language is embedded in our genes, existing as an innate and instinctual part of us. In this bold and provocative study, linguist Daniel Everett argues that, like other tools, language was invented by humans and can be reinvented or lost. He shows how the evolution of different language forms—that is, different grammar—reflects how language is influenced by human societies and experiences, and how it expresses their great variety. Combining anthropology, primatology, computer science, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, and his own pioneering research with the Amazonian Pirahã, and using insights from many different languages and cultures, Everett presents an unprecedented elucidation of this society-defined nature of language. In doing so, he also gives us a new understanding of how we think and who we are. Review “Full of intellectually omnivorous insights and reminiscences about Everett’s years with the Pirahã . . . [Language] is that rare thing: a warm linguistics book.” —The New York Times Book Review“The most important—and provocative—anthropological fieldwork ever undertaken.” —Tom Wolfe“Revelatory. There is nothing about humans that is quite as astonishing as language.”—The Guardian “A book whose importance is almost impossible to overstate. This is an intellectual cri de coeur and a profound celebration of human diversity. . . . Very rich but also very readable.”—The Sunday Times (London)“[Language] is that rare thing: a warm linguistics book . . . A useful study of a burgeoning theory compatible with Darwinism, anthropology, psychology and philosophy—an interdisciplinary orientation the Chomskyans have largely spurned.”—The New York Times Book Review  “[Language] deserves a serious reading.” —The Economist “Readers’ eyes will . . . sparkle with new insight.” —Kirkus Reviews “Everett’s stories of the Pirahã . . . bring to life the culture that fosters the language. The stories also anchor his linguistic proposals in anthropology. Most linguists might take this as an insult; Everett would accept it as a compliment.” —The Globe and Mail (Canada) “[Everett lobs] a scientific grenade . . . into the spot where anthropology, linguistics and psychology meet: he asserts that the Piraha language exhibits traits that call into question aspects of linguistic theories that have been widely accepted for decades.” —Chicago Tribune “Everett writes simply and persuasively about language. . . . His courage and conviction should give linguists pause for thought.” —The Observer (London) About the Author Daniel L. Everett is dean of arts and sciences at Bentley University. He has held appointments in linguistics and/or anthropology at the University of Campinas, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Manchester, and Illinois State University.www.daneverettbooks.com Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. IntroductionThe Gift of Prometueus The Greeks told a myth about one of mankind’s greatest tools, fire. The story’s hero was Prometheus, whose name means foreseer. Prometheus grew fond of the creatures that Zeus had asked him to help create, man and woman. He watched them with pity as they huddled cold and fearful of the dark, stumbling blindly after every setting of the sun. He knew the solution to their problem—fire. But Zeus did not want humans to have fire. Fire would give humans more power than Zeus intended. They might even rival the gods themselves. So Zeus forbad it.  Prometheus knew the risks of disobeying the king of the gods. Yet for pity and for love he smuggled a charcoal lit by Apollo’s fiery chariot out of Olympus in a fennel stalk. No matter how pure his motives, Prometheus paid a horrible price for his charity. Zeus condemned him to an eternity of pain chained to a rock in the Caucasus, where each day his li

EAN: 9780307473806

Languages: English

Binding: Paperback

Item Condition: UsedLikeNew