How can people who are both blind and deaf communicate? What makes
Woody Allen funny? Is it normal to hear colors and see sounds? If questions like these have puzzled you, this book of essays on the nature of language will quench your curiosity.
Language pervades every aspect of life. It is essential to everyone everywhere - from politicians to poets, philosophers to pharmacists - yet linguistics is often forbidding. This collection of short, accessible essays changes that. Language, Bananas, and Bonobos presents a series of engaging reflections on concerns such as our knowledge and use of language, political correctness, and the linguistic abilities of chimpanzees. In doing so, the volume provides new insights into this subject of universal interest.
1. How to be the Center of the Universe.
Part I: Problems:
3. Putting a Banana in Your Ear.
4. A Fragment of Genius.
5. Colourful Language.
6. The Structure of Noise.
Part II: Puzzles:
10. Acquired Whining.
12. The Golem.
Part III: Polemics:
15. Whales, Sunflowers and the Evolution of Language.
16. Jackdaws, Sex and Language Acquisition.
17. Does Chomsky Exist?
18. Relentless Jollity, Inexorable Logic and the Nature of Mind.
19. Structural Eccentricities.
20. The Velarity of Linguists.