* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *


LINGUIST List 25.1896

Tue Apr 29 2014

Books: The Language Hoax: McWhorter

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <saralinguistlist.org>

Date: 25-Mar-2014
From: Taylor Coe <taylor.coeoup.com>
Subject: The Language Hoax: McWhorter
E-mail this message to a friend

Title: The Language Hoax
Subtitle: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language
Published: 2014
Publisher: Oxford University Press
                http://www.oup.com/us

Book URL: http://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-language-hoax-9780199361588

Author: John H. McWhorter
Hardback: ISBN: 9780199361588 Pages: 208 Price: U.S. $ 19.95
Abstract:

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.

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=69854


---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press http://us.cambridge.org

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH http://www.oldenbourg-verlag.de/akademie-verlag
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics) http://www.bloomsbury.com
Brill http://www.brill.nl
Cambridge Scholars Publishing http://www.c-s-p.org
Cascadilla Press http://www.cascadilla.com/
Classiques Garnier http://www.classiques-garnier.com/
De Gruyter Mouton http://www.degruyter.com/
Edinburgh University Press http://www.euppublishing.com
Elsevier Ltd http://www.elsevier.com/
Equinox Publishing Ltd http://www.equinoxpub.com/
European Language Resources Association (ELRA) http://www.elra.info/
Georgetown University Press http://www.press.georgetown.edu/
John Benjamins http://www.benjamins.com/
Lincom GmbH http://www.lincom-shop.eu/
MIT Press http://mitpress.mit.edu/
Multilingual Matters http://www.multilingual-matters.com/
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG http://www.narr.de/
Oxford University Press http://www.oup.com/us
Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com/
Peter Lang AG http://www.peterlang.com/
Rodopi http://www.rodopi.nl/
Routledge (Taylor and Francis) http://www.routledge.com/
Springer http://www.springer.com/
University of Toronto Press http://www.utpjournals.com/
Wiley-Blackwell http://www.wiley.com/

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics http://www.fl.ul.pt/revistas/JPL/JPLweb.htm
International Pragmatics Assoc. http://ipra.ua.ac.be/
Linguistic Association of Finland http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/sky/
Morgan & Claypool Publishers http://www.morganclaypool.com/
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT) http://www.lotpublications.nl/
Seoul National University http://j-cs.org/index/index.php
SIL International Publications http://www.sil.org/resources/publications
Universitat Jaume I http://www.uji.es/CA/publ/
University of Nebraska Press http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/
Utrecht institute of Linguistics http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/

Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue



Page Updated: 29-Apr-2014

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation       About LINGUIST    |   Contact Us       ILIT Logo
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.