Search Results: the-power-of-babel-a-natural-history-of-language

The Power Of Babel

A Natural History of Language

Author: John McWhorter

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 144647240X

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 336

View: 3685

There can be few subjects of such widespread interest and fascination to anyone who reads as the strange ways of languages. In this wonderfully entertaining and fascinating book, John McWhorter introduces us to 'the natural history of language': from Russonorsk, a creole of Russian and Norwegian once spoken by trading fur trappers to an Australian Aboriginal language which only has three verbs. Witty, brilliant and authoritative, this book is a must for anyone who is interested in language, as sheerly enjoyable as non-fiction gets.

What Language Is

And What It Isn't and What It Could Be

Author: John McWhorter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101644451

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 240

View: 6068

New York Times bestselling author and renowned linguist, John McWhorter, explores the complicated and fascinating world of languages. From Standard English to Black English; obscure tongues only spoken by a few thousand people in the world to the big ones like Mandarin - What Language Is celebrates the history and curiosities of languages around the world and smashes our assumptions about "correct" grammar. An eye-opening tour for all language lovers, What Language Is offers a fascinating new perspective on the way humans communicate. From vanishing languages spoken by a few hundred people to major tongues like Chinese, with copious revelations about the hodgepodge nature of English, John McWhorter shows readers how to see and hear languages as a linguist does. Packed with Big Ideas about language alongside wonderful trivia, What Language Is explains how languages across the globe (the Queen's English and Surinam creoles alike) originate, evolve, multiply, and divide. Raising provocative questions about what qualifies as a language (so-called slang does have structured grammar), McWhorter also takes readers on a marvelous journey through time and place-from Persian to the languages of Sri Lanka- to deliver a feast of facts about the wonders of human linguistic expression.

Eine kleine Geschichte der Sprache

Author: Steven Roger Fischer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783423340304

Category:

Page: 255

View: 5650

Im Spiegel der Sprache

warum die Welt in anderen Sprachen anders aussieht

Author: Guy Deutscher

Publisher: C.H.Beck

ISBN: 9783406606892

Category: Comparative linguistics

Page: 320

View: 1172

"Ich spreche Spanisch zu Gott, Italienisch zu den Frauen, Französisch zu den Männern und Deutsch zu meinem Pferd.' Die scherzhafte Vermutung Karls V., dass verschiedene Sprachen nicht in allen Situationen gleich gut zu gebrauchen sind, findet wohl auch heute noch breite Zustimmung. Doch ist sie aus sprachwissenschaftlicher Sicht haltbar? Sind alle Sprachen gleich komplex, oder ist Sprache ein Spiegel ihrer kulturellen Umgebung - sprechen 'primitive' Völker 'primitive' Sprachen? Und inwieweit sieht die Welt, wenn sie 'durch die Brille' einer anderen Sprache gesehen wird, anders aus? Das neue Buch des renommierten Linguisten Guy Deutscher ist eine sagenhafte Tour durch Länder, Zeiten und Sprachen. Auf seiner Reise zu den aktuellsten Ergebnissen der Sprachforschung geht Guy Deutscher mit Captain Cook auf Känguruh-Jagd, prüft mit William Gladstone die vermeintliche Farbblindheit der Griechen zur Zeit Homers und verfolgt Rudolf Virchow in Carl Hagenbecks Zoo auf dem Kurfürstendamm im Berlin des 19. Jahrhunderts. Mitreisende werden nicht nur mit einer glänzend unterhaltsamen Übersicht der Sprachforschung, mit humorvollen Highlights, unerwarteten Wendungen und klugen Antworten belohnt. Sie vermeiden auch einen Kardinalfehler, dem Philologen, Anthropologen und - wer hätte das gedacht - auch Naturwissenschaftler allzu lange aufgesessen sind: die Macht der Kultur zu unterschätzen." -- Publisher's website.

Im Turm

Roman

Author: Josiah Bancroft

Publisher: Heyne Verlag

ISBN: 3641226368

Category: Fiction

Page: 448

View: 4234

Der Turm von Babel ist das gewaltigste Bauwerk des Seidenen Zeitalters: er ragt so hoch in die Wolken hinein, dass niemand weiß, wo er endet; in seinem Inneren gibt es ganze Königreiche und unzählige Labyrinthe voller geheimnisvoller Kreaturen und tödlicher Gefahren. Eigentlich wollte der furchtsame Thomas Senlin nur einen kurzen Blick auf dieses Weltwunder werfen und dann weiterreisen. »Falls wir uns in der Menschenmenge verlieren, treffen wir uns auf der Spitze des Turmes wieder«, sagt seine frisch angetraute Frau Marya noch kokett zu ihm, kurz darauf ist sie tatsächlich spurlos verschwunden. Senlin bleibt keine Wahl: Er muss rein in den Turm und rauf auf die Spitze, wenn er seine Frau wiederfinden will. Das Abenteuer beginnt ...

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

The Untold History of English

Author: John McWhorter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781440634048

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 256

View: 4832

A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar Why do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”? Why do we say “do” at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history. Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English— and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it’s not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).

Defining Creole

Author: John H. McWhorter

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195347234

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 444

View: 5557

A conventional wisdom among creolists is that creole is a sociohistorical term only: that creole languages share a particular history entailing adults rapidly acquiring a language usually under conditions of subordination, but that structurally they are indistinguishable from other languages. The articles by John H. McWhorter collected in this volume demonstrate that this is in fact untrue. Creole languages, while complex and nuanced as all human languages are, are delineable from older languages as the result of their having come into existence only a few centuries ago. Then adults learn a language under untutored conditions, they abbreviate its structure, focusing upon features vital to communication and shaving away most of the features useless to communication that bedevil those acquiring the language non-natively. When they utilize their rendition of the language consistently enough to create a brand-new one, this new creation naturally evinces evidence of its youth: specifically, a much lower degree of the random accretions typical in older languages, which only develop over vast periods of time. The articles constitute a case for this thesis based on both broad, cross-creole ranges of data and focused expositions referring to single creole languages. The book presents a general case for a theory of language contact and creolization in which not only transfer from source languages but also structural reduction plays a central role, based on facts whose marginality of address in creole studies has arisen from issues sociopolitical as well as scientific. For several decades the very definition of the term creole has been elusive even among creole specialists. This book attempts to forge a path beyond the inter- and intra-disciplinary misunderstandings and stalemates that have resulted from this, and to demonstrate the place that creoles might occupy in other linguistic subfields, including typology, language contact, and syntactic theory.

Die Bibliothek von Babel

Erzählungen

Author: Jorge Luis Borges

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783150094976

Category: Borges, Jorge Luis

Page: 83

View: 5172

The Language Hoax

Author: John H. McWhorter

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199361606

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 224

View: 3454

Japanese has a term that covers both green and blue. Russian has separate terms for dark and light blue. Does this mean that Russians perceive these colors differently from Japanese people? Does language control and limit the way we think? This short, opinionated book addresses the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which argues that the language we speak shapes the way we perceive the world. Linguist John McWhorter argues that while this idea is mesmerizing, it is plainly wrong. It is language that reflects culture and worldview, not the other way around. The fact that a language has only one word for eat, drink, and smoke doesn't mean its speakers don't process the difference between food and beverage, and those who use the same word for blue and green perceive those two colors just as vividly as others do. McWhorter shows not only how the idea of language as a lens fails but also why we want so badly to believe it: we're eager to celebrate diversity by acknowledging the intelligence of peoples who may not think like we do. Though well-intentioned, our belief in this idea poses an obstacle to a better understanding of human nature and even trivializes the people we seek to celebrate. The reality -- that all humans think alike -- provides another, better way for us to acknowledge the intelligence of all peoples.

Nach Babel

Aspekte der Sprache und des Übersetzens

Author: George Steiner

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783518297254

Category: Language and languages

Page: 487

View: 2184

Doing Our Own Thing

The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care

Author: John McWhorter

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446473228

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 304

View: 1117

Once languages become written, they change. Only in writing does language develop the artfulness and richness that we associate with a Shakespeare, a Proust or a Whitman. Yet over the last forty years, the English-language has effectively gone into reverse - taking our lead from America and the legacy of the 1960s, our culture increasingly privileges the oral over the written, spurning the art of elaborated, 'written'-style language in favour of returning to the state of a spoken culture. Parallel developments have occurred in music. In this controversial and thought-provoking book, John McWhorter argues that the 1960's rejection of cultural traits associated with the Establishment, as well as a democratic celebration of what anyone can do over what requires training or talent, has led to our culture being increasingly impoverished, both intellectually and artistically...

Freakonomics

überraschende Antworten auf alltägliche Lebensfragen ; [warum wohnen Drogenhändler bei ihren Müttern? Führt mehr Polizei zu weniger Kriminalität? Sind Swimmingpools gefährlicher als Revolver? Macht gute Erziehung glücklich?]

Author: Steven D. Levitt,Stephen J. Dubner

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783442154517

Category:

Page: 411

View: 9669

Sind Swimmingpools gefährlicher als Revolver? Warum betrügen Lehrer? Der preisgekrönte Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Steven D. Levitt kombiniert Statistiken, deren Zusammenführung und Gegenüberstellung auf den ersten Blick absurd erscheint, durch seine Analysetechnik aber zu zahlreichen Aha-Effekten führt. Ein äußerst unterhaltsamer Streifzug durch die Mysterien des Alltags, der uns schmunzeln lässt und stets über eindimensionales Denken hinausführt.

Die Sprachen der Welt

Geschichte - Grammatik - Wortschatz in vergleichender Darstellung

Author: Frederick Bodmer

Publisher: Hamlyn

ISBN: 9783880598805

Category:

Page: 678

View: 9350

Christoph Waltz liest Ernst H. Gombrich, Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für junge Leser

Von den Anfängen bis zum Mittelalter ; MP3-CD mit Daisy-Navigation

Author: Ernst H. Gombrich

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783866106628

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 2687

Babel’s Tower Translated

Genesis 11 and Ancient Jewish Interpretation

Author: Phillip Michael Sherman

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004248617

Category: Religion

Page: 378

View: 5795

Ancient Jewish Interpreters read and rewrote the biblical narrative of the Tower of Babel to address various challenges to the identity of 'Israel' in the Second Temple and early rabbinic periods.

Winning the Race

Beyond the Crisis in Black America

Author: John McWhorter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101216778

Category: Social Science

Page: 448

View: 2258

In his first major book on the state of black America since the New York Times bestseller Losing the Race, John McWhorter argues that a renewed commitment to achievement and integration is the only cure for the crisis in the African-American community. Winning the Race examines the roots of the serious problems facing black Americans today—poverty, drugs, and high incarceration rates—and contends that none of the commonly accepted reasons can explain the decline of black communities since the end of segregation in the 1960s. Instead, McWhorter posits that a sense of victimhood and alienation that came to the fore during the civil rights era has persisted to the present day in black culture, even though most blacks today have never experienced the racism of the segregation era. McWhorter traces the effects of this disempowering conception of black identity, from the validation of living permanently on welfare to gansta rap’s glorification of irresponsibility and violence as a means of “protest.” He discusses particularly specious claims of racism, attacks the destructive posturing of black leaders and the “hip-hop academics,” and laments that a successful black person must be faced with charges of “acting white.” While acknowledging that racism still exists in America today, McWhorter argues that both blacks and whites must move past blaming racism for every challenge blacks face, and outlines the steps necessary for improving the future of black America.

Frontiers of History

Historical Inquiry in the Twentieth Century

Author: Donald R. Kelley

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300135091

Category: History

Page: 298

View: 1172

In 1764-65, the irrepressible playwright Beaumarchais travelled to Madrid, where he immersed himself in the life and society of the day. Inspired by the places he had seen and the people he had met, Beaumarchais returned home to create The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, plays that became the basis for the operas by Rossini and Mozart that continue to delight audiences today. This book is a lively and original account of Beaumarchais's visit to Madrid (he never went to Seville) and a re-creation of the society that fired his imagination. Drawing on Beaumarchais's letters and commentaries, translated into English for the first time, Hugh Thomas investigates the full range of the playwright's activities in Madrid. He focuses particular attention on short plays that Beaumarchais attended and by which he was probably influenced, and he probes the inspirations for such widely recognized characters as the barber-valet Figaro, the lordly Count Almaviva, and the beautiful but deceived Rosine. Not neglecting Beaumarchais's many other pursuits (ranging from an endeavour to gain a contract for selling African slaves to an attempt to place his mistress as a spy in the bed of King Charles III), Lord Thomas provides a highly entertaining view of a vital moment in Madrid's history and in the creative life of the energetic Beaumarchais.

Leben in Metaphern

Konstruktion und Gebrauch von Sprachbildern

Author: George Lakoff,Mark Johnson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783896704870

Category: Concepts

Page: 272

View: 7429

Metaphern sind integraler Bestandteil unserer alltäglichen Sprache, nicht bloß praktische oder rhethorische Mittel. Sie bestimmen unsere Wahrnehmung, unser Denken und Handeln und somit unsere Wirklichkeit. Die Lektüre dieses fesselnden und unterhaltsamen Buches führt dazu, dass man ganz neu über die Sprache und darüber, wie wir sie benutzen, denkt.

Sociolinguistics

The Study of Speakers' Choices

Author: Florian Coulmas

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107037646

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 317

View: 9311

This new and updated textbook gives students a coherent view of the complex interaction of language and society.

Spoken Here

Travels Among Threatened Languages

Author: Mark Abley

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618565832

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 322

View: 9432

Explores the linguistic characteristics and oddities of some of the world's threatened languages, including Max, Mohaw, Yiddish, and Boro, and the diverse forces that threaten to destroy them and the cultures that spawned them.

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