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A myriad of tongues : how languages reveal differences in how we think  Cover Image Book Book

A myriad of tongues : how languages reveal differences in how we think / Caleb Everett.

Everett, Caleb, (author.).

Summary:

"A guide to how languages around the world differ from one another far more than we realize and point to fundamental differences in how people conceive of everything from time to color to smell"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780674976580
  • ISBN: 0674976584
  • Physical Description: 275 pages ; 22 cm.
  • Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts ; Harvard University Press, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-266) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Your future is behind you -- Turn to your west -- Who's your brother? -- The sky is grue -- Dessert ice -- Seeing speech -- The nasal start to "nose" -- Big into what?
Subject: Anthropological linguistics.
Language and languages > Variation.

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at Kenton County.

Holds

  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date

  • Baker & Taylor
    "Provides a sweeping exploration of the relationship between the language we speak and our perception of such fundamentals of experience as time, space, color and smells, and how languages around the world differ from one another far more than we realize."
  • Baker & Taylor
    "A guide to how languages around the world differ from one another far more than we realize and point to fundamental differences in how people conceive of everything from time to color to smell"--
  • Harvard University Press
    Exploring breakthroughs in language and cognition research, Caleb Everett finds that fundamentals of human perception are culturally encoded by the words and sentences we use. The experience of time, space, color, odor, and taste is substantially influenced by language, so that basic interactions with the world vary greatly across peoples.
  • Harvard University Press

    A sweeping exploration of the relationship between the language we speak and our perception of such fundamentals of experience as time, space, color, and smells.

    We tend to assume that all languages categorize ideas and objects similarly, reflecting our common human experience. But this isn’t the case. When we look closely, we find that many basic concepts are not universal, and that speakers of different languages literally see and think about the world differently.

    Caleb Everett takes readers around the globe, explaining what linguistic diversity tells us about human culture, overturning conventional wisdom along the way. For instance, though it may seem that everybody refers to time in spatial terms—in English, for example, we speak of time “passing us by”—speakers of the Amazonian language Tupi Kawahib never do. In fact, Tupi Kawahib has no word for “time” at all. And while it has long been understood that languages categorize colors based on those that speakers regularly encounter, evidence suggests that the color words we have at our disposal affect how we discriminate colors themselves: a rose may not appear as rosy by any other name. What’s more, the terms available to us even determine the range of smells we can identify. European languages tend to have just a few abstract odor words, like “floral” or “stinky,” whereas Indigenous languages often have well over a dozen.

    Why do some cultures talk anthropocentrically about things being to one’s “left” or “right,” while others use geocentric words like “east” and “west”? What is the connection between what we eat and the sounds we make? A Myriad of Tongues answers these and other questions, yielding profound insights into the fundamentals of human communication and experience.


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