David Shariatmadari

David Shariatmadari


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


Hoeveel bepaal ons taalgedrag?

In die vroeë twintigste eeu het antropoloë en taalkundiges, waaronder Edward Sapir en Benjamin Lee Whorf (sy student) 'n uitlokkende hipotese ontwikkel: dat die taal wat ons praat 'n invloed het op die manier waarop ons die wêreld sien en ons gedrag daarin. Sedertdien het geleerdes gedebatteer oor die geldigheid van wat bekend geword het (sommige sê onakkuraat) as die Sapir -Whorf -hipotese, en ondersoek hulle die grense van taal se invloed op ons kognisie. In die volgende uittreksel van die onlangs gepubliseerde Moenie 'n woord glo nie: die verrassende waarheid oor taal, voog skrywer en redakteur David Shariatmadari ondersoek die nuutste navorsing in die debat - en die vrae wat dit steeds stel oor die verband tussen taal en gedrag.
—Elizabeth Weingarten, besturende redakteur

Dit is makliker om 'n hipotese te bewys of te weerlê in 'n goed omskrewe ervaringsgebied wat maklik met tale vergelyk kan word. Daarom het baie geleerdes wat geïnteresseerd was in die idees van Benjamin Lee Whorf, hul navorsing op kleur toegespits. Omdat kleur 'n fisiese eienskap is, bepaal deur die golflengtes van lig wat deur 'n voorwerp gereflekteer of geabsorbeer word, kan u aanneem dat alle tale net soveel woorde vir kleure het as wat daar kleure in die wêreld is. Maar die menslike oog kan ongeveer 1 000 000 verskillende skakerings onderskei, en ek sal verbaas wees as u vinnig meer as tien kan noem. Daar word klaarblyklik keuses gemaak oor hoe ons die spektrum van sigbare lig verdeel - en tale maak hierdie keuses anders.

Die presiese manier waarop tale die spektrum sny - die manier waarop dit met kleure benoem word - kan 'n meetbare uitwerking op ons persepsie hê. Nie juis skokkend nie. Maar daar is meer verbysterende voorbeelde van Whorfian-effekte. Kan die taal wat u praat, byvoorbeeld die kans op u meer seer maak of selfs sterf?

Sweeds is 'n Noord-Germaanse taal, baie nou verwant aan Deens, Noors en Yslands. Dit sit in die groter Indo-Europese taalfamilie, wat beteken dat dit voorouers deel met Engels, Frans, Grieks, Russies, ensovoorts. Fins, aan die ander kant, is deel van die Fins-Oegriese taalfamilie, wat Hongaars en Esties insluit. Die grammatika en inheemse woordeskat van hierdie tale is heeltemal anders, ondanks die geografiese nabyheid. Die Sweeds vir "vader" is ver. In Fins is dit isä. In Sweeds is "oog" öga, in Fins silmä.

Hoewel daar ongetwyfeld 'n diep taalkundige kloof bestaan, het die Nordiese bure soortgelyke lewenstandaarde, regstelsels en sosiale organisasiemetodes. Daar is 'n groot hoeveelheid handel en kulturele uitruil, en ongeveer 300 000 etniese Swede woon in Finland. Dit is dus vreemd, gegewe hierdie kulturele nabyheid, dat die twee lande skerp verskillende ongelukke op die werkplek moet hê, terwyl dié in Finland aansienlik hoër is. Nog meer vreemd, hierdie patroon geld onder die Sweedse minderheid in Finland: fabrieke in Sweedssprekende gebiede is in ooreenstemming met die Sweedse nasionale koers. En ons praat nie bloot oor stampe en kneusplekke nie. Die industriële sterftesyfer onder Swede is 31 persent laer as vir Finne.

Hoe vreemd dit ook al mag lyk, dit is moontlik dat taal die sleutel bevat.

Hoe vreemd dit ook al mag lyk, dit is moontlik dat taal die sleutel bevat. In Sweeds maak voorsetsels (woorde soos "tot", "oor", "deur", ens.) Voorsiening vir die fyn beskrywing van bewegings oor tyd. Fins, wat meer staatmaak op eindpunte (die agtervoegsels wat u vertel oor die verband tussen woorde), is geneig om die statiese verhoudings van voorwerpe met mekaar te beklemtoon. Volgens die sielkundige John Lucy het taalkundiges wat die teenstrydigheid ondersoek, bepaal dat "Finne die werkplek organiseer op 'n manier wat die individuele werker (persoon) bevoordeel bo die tydelike organisasie van die algehele produksieproses." Die soort organisasie weerspieël blykbaar die manier waarop rye gebeure in die Finse taal gestruktureer is. As gevolg hiervan, "Gebrek aan aandag aan die algehele tydelike organisasie van die proses lei tot gereelde ontwrigtings in produksie, haas en uiteindelik ongelukke."

Dieselfde eienskappe van Fins kan ook 'n kenmerkende kulturele genre veroorsaak het. Lucy rapporteer die resultate van navorsing oor filmmaak volgens taalfamilie. 'Indo-Europese (Sweedse, Noorse, Engelse) produksies het samehangende tydelike entiteite gevorm waarin aksie van begin tot einde op verskillende tonele gevolg kon word, terwyl. . . Finse, Hongaarse, Estse produksies het meer klem gelê op statiese omgewings met slegs verbygaande beweging. ”

Hierdie effekte is buitengewoon, maar dit is moeilik om vas te stel. Alhoewel die betrokke navorsing soveel as moontlik moeite gedoen het om die gevolge van taalstruktuur te isoleer, is dit steeds redelik om te vra waar die taalkundige eindig en die kulturele begin. Dit sou 'n uitdaging wees om die gevolge van opvoeding in 'n Finssprekende huishouding te onderskei van die gevolge van die Finse grammatika self.

Hierdie vraag word steeds interessanter as ons grammatikale geslag oorweeg - die vereiste in sommige tale dat alle selfstandige naamwoorde gedefinieer moet word as manlik, vroulik en soms 'n derde kategorie, neutraal. Engels en Fins het nie grammatikale geslag nie. 'N Tafel, 'n motor of 'n boom is nie manlik of vroulik nie. In Spaans is die woord vir 'tafel' egter -la mesa—Is vroulik, neem die vroulike definitiewe artikel, la, en moet vervang word deur die vroulike voornaamwoord, ella. 'Motor' is manlik—el coche- dit is 'boom' -el arbol. In Duits, "tafel" -der Tisch- is manlik, "motor" -die Auto- is neutraal en "boom" -der Baum- is manlik. Die toewysing van hierdie woorde aan verskillende geslagskategorieë blyk willekeurig te wees.

Hierdie effekte is buitengewoon, maar dit is moeilik om vas te stel.

Wat maak dit saak? In die alledaagse denke dink Duits-, Spaans- en Franssprekendes sekerlik nie regtig aan dat rotse, skêr en papier op een of ander manier min of meer vroulik, manlik of iets tussenin is nie? Vir hierdie sprekers moet geslag op die agtergrond verdwyn, slegs 'n deel van die neute en grille van die taal, nie meer as die feit dat ons 'n 's' by naamwoorde voeg as daar meer as een is nie. Die kognitiewe wetenskaplike Lera Boroditsky het eksperimente bedink om hierdie hipotese na te gaan en het 'n paar verrassende resultate gekry.

Eerstens het sy 'n groep Duitse en Spaanse sprekers bymekaargemaak om te ondersoek of die geslagsmerkers wat aan selfstandige naamwoorde geheg is, betekenisvol geïnterpreteer is as manlik of vroulik. Boroditsky en haar kollegas het vier en twintig voorwerpe gekies en hulle manlike of vroulike eiename gegee. 'N Appel kan byvoorbeeld Patrick genoem word. Die helfte van die tyd stem die naam ooreen met die grammatikale geslag, die helfte van die tyd wat dit nie was nie. Onderwerpe is daarna getoets op die herroeping van die name. Toe die naam by die geslag pas, was hulle beter daarin om dit te onthou as wanneer dit nie die geval was nie - wat daarop dui dat daar 'n gevoel is dat 'n voorwerp manlik of vroulik lyk as die grammatika dit so merk.

Wat om hiervan te maak? Boroditsky se verdere hipotese was dat sprekers wie se taal die woord "appel" manlik geslag toeken, dit meer sou kon insien in terme van stereotipies manlike eienskappe, en omgekeerd vir sprekers wat dit vroulik geslag toewys. As dit waar was, sou dit allerhande implikasies hê vir die geesteslewe van hierdie sprekers, hul begrip van die manier waarop die wêreld werk en hoe hulle natuurlike en kunsmatige prosesse verstaan. Nie net dit nie: in die beskrywings van die 'betekenis' van 'n woord, moet ons die assosiasies wat dit het as gevolg van die geslag daarvan, byvoeg. 'N Werklik volledige vertaling van le soleil, sou die Franse, manlike son, die verskil tussen haar en die Duitse vroulike son kommunikeer, die Sonne.

Om dit te ondersoek, gebruik Boroditsky nog 'n lys van vier-en-twintig voorwerpe met die teenoorgestelde geslagte in Duits en Spaans. Sy het toe moedertaalsprekers van daardie tale gevra om die eerste drie Engelse byvoeglike naamwoorde wat die voorwerpe in gedagte gehad het, neer te skryf. Die doel was om te sien of die beskrywings wat hulle geproduseer het, geneig was om die geslag van die woord te pas. Die 'manlikheid' en 'vroulikheid' van hierdie byvoeglike naamwoorde is deur 'n aparte groep Engelssprekendes beoordeel om 'n onbevooroordeelde maatstaf te gee.

As u moedertaal u leer dat sleutels as manlik gekategoriseer word, bevat u idee van 'sleutel' wat manlike eienskappe in u kultuur word beoordeel - en dit geld selfs as u 'n ander (geslaglose) taal gebruik.

Die resultate is merkwaardig. Kom ons neem die woord “sleutel” - wat manlik is in Duits en vroulik in Spaans. Duitssprekendes het byvoeglike naamwoorde gekies soos 'hard', 'swaar' en 'gekartel'. Spaanse sprekers het 'klein', 'lieflik', 'blink' en 'klein' gekies. Of "brug", wat vroulik in Duits is en manlik in Spaans. Duitssprekendes het 'mooi', 'elegant', 'mooi' en 'skraal' gekies en die Spaanse sprekers het 'groot', 'sterk', 'stewig' en 'hoog' gekies.

Dit blyk te wees dat, as u moedertaal u leer dat sleutels as manlik gekategoriseer word, u idee van 'sleutel' toegerus is met manlike eienskappe in u kultuur - en dit geld selfs as u 'n ander ( geslaglose) taal. Met hierdie resultate blyk dit dat Whorf se teorie uit sy vlak graf opstaan.

Uittreksel uit Moenie 'n woord glo nie: die verbasende waarheid oor taal. Kopiereg (c) 2019 deur David Shariatmadari. Gebruik met toestemming van die uitgewer, W. W. Norton & amp Company, Inc. Alle regte voorbehou.


David Shariatmadari - Geskiedenis

BOB: Verlede maand het die Arabiese dienshoof van die BBC, Tarik Kafala, 'n semantiese kontroversie veroorsaak toe hy aankondig dat die BBC nie verwys na die individue wat Charlie Hebdo aangeval het as & ldquoterroriste. & rdquo So 'n keuse, het kritici gesê, was 'buitensporig' en 'ldquogives' wat terroriste gesteek het. & Konserwatiewe parlementslid Conor Burns het die hele aangeleentheid as 'n ander voorbeeld van Orwellian, en lsquo1984 & rs, geklassifiseer deur die BBC wat dien om te masker eerder as om te verlig. & rdquo - hoewel die BBC eintlik die woord terrorisme gebruik. David Shariatmadari is 'n adjunk -meningsredakteur vir die Guardian en skrywer van sy & ldquoBuzzwords & rdquo -taalblog. Hy was getuie van die woede wat deur die BBC en rsquos Kafala aangewakker is en wou die unieke geskiedenis en aard van 'n vreesaanjaende woord ondersoek. David, welkom by die vertoning.

DAVID SHARIATMADARI: Dankie dat u my gehad het, Bob.

BOB: Een van die vreemde dinge oor terrorisme is dat dit slegs effektief is as mense woedend is. In 'n sekere sin is dit 'n misdaad van geweld, maar dit is ook 'n soort massakommunikasie.

SHARIATMADARI: Ja. Dit is moontlik die kenmerk van moderne terrorisme, dit is 'n vorm van boodskapstuur. In die navorsing vir hierdie stuk lees ek 'n artikel deur David Fromkin uit 1975 op die hoogtepunt van die soort nuwe terrorisme wat plaasgevind het wat burgerlikes teiken. Hy sê, "al te min verstaan, die uniekheid van die strategie lê daarin: dat dit sy doel nie bereik deur sy dade nie, maar deur die reaksie op sy dade."

BOB: Ons is dus in die algemeen redelik duidelik oor wat terrorisme is, ten minste in die vroeë deel van die 21ste eeu, en tog is dit so belaglik dat die hoof van die BBC Arabiese diens dit die beste vind om die luisteraars te laat en kykers besluit self en vir sy verslaggewers om bloot beskrywende taal te gebruik. Hoekom?

SHARIATMADARI: ek bedoel, die BBC is baie duidelik dat daar reeds woorde in die woordeskat bestaan ​​om hierdie soort gebeurtenisse te beskryf, of dit nou bombardemente of aanvalle is, en ek dink dat die BBC -riglyne die woord terroriste beskryf as 'n karakterisering en dat dit nie die geval is nie in die karakterisering wil wees, wil hulle in die beskrywingsbedryf wees. Die woord loop die risiko om 'n bietjie deel te neem aan die siklus van vrees en reaksie. Die risiko bestaan ​​dat die woord gebruik word vir iets wat verder gaan as die blote feitelike beskrywing.

BOB: Wel, dit het duidelik 'n geskiedenis van misbruik. Die Nazi's het dit gebruik om ondergrondse groepe, partisane ensovoorts te beskryf wat Nazi -soldate aangeval het. En tot vandag toe sien ons dat onwettige state en ander dit gebruik om slegs politieke betogers te beskryf, so duidelik word dit misbruik. maar as ander die woord terrorisme misbruik, moet die pers geïntimideer word om 'n woord te laat vaar wat presies beteken wat dit beteken?

SHARIATMADARI: Nee, ek dink nie so nie. En eintlik het ons by die Guardian 'n stylhandleiding wat die gebruik van die woord "terrorisme" nie verbied nie, maar dit raai versigtigheid en vra dat ons die woord oordeelkundig moet gebruik. Ek dink die BBC het sy eie besluit geneem. Ek kan dit verstaan, maar ek sou nie noodwendig die woord "terroris" uit die leksikon gooi nie. Ons moet net versigtig wees daarmee.

BOB Nou hang ek hierdie hele reeks vrae oor die idee dat ons almal goed verstaan ​​wat terrorisme is, en dat solank die pers dit reg gebruik en nie deur politici en ander laat manipuleer nie, nie uit ons leksikon geneem word nie. Aan die ander kant het terreur nie altyd bedoel wat ons nou verstaan ​​nie. Die wortels daarvan gaan terug na die oorspronklike staatsterrorisme, nie waar nie?

SHARIATMADARI: Die woord terrorisme en terrorisme het aan die einde van die 18de eeu in die Engelse taal gekom tydens die Franse Revolusie. En dit is gebruik om die aktiwiteite van die revolusionêre regering te beskryf. Die Komitee vir Openbare Veiligheid, soos dit homself ontwerp het, wat in Frankryk die leiding geneem het en in wese 'n politieke suiwering teen sy vyande uitgevoer het. Daardie tydperk het bekend gestaan ​​as die Reign of Terror, en omdat al die ander nasies in Europa die angstklim onderneem het omdat dit so 'n onstuimige gebeurtenis was, het die woord in verskillende tale verskyn: dit het Spaans, Italiaans en Engels ingeskryf. Maar aanvanklik is dit gebruik om 'n revolusionêre regering se aktiwiteite teen sy mense en teen sy politieke vyande te beskryf.

BOB: En nou is dit amper heeltemal omgedraai: dit word gebruik om die soort asimmetriese oorlogvoering te beskryf waar mense wat nie 'n regering kan aanpak nie, tog die aandag van die wêreld kan trek deur verskillende soorte gruweldade en vergrype te pleeg op die manier dat ons het gesien dat ISIS die afgelope jaar of wat doen. Aangesien terrorisme nie voltooi is voordat die reaksie daarop plaasgevind het nie, veral in die pers, is ek net nuuskierig: as die pers werklik terugval op die gebruik van 'terrorisme' uit vrees dat hulle in die politiek beland? terroriste wen of verloor die terroriste?

SHARIATMADARI: As nuusorganisasies meer oordeelkundig sou wees in die gebruik van die woord, sou ek dit nie sien as die terroriste wat wen teen die media -organisasies nie. Ek dink dit sou ten minste gedeeltelik die media -organisasies wees wat besluit om nie aan 'n kringloop van vrees deel te neem nie.

BOB: David, baie dankie.

SHARIATMADARI: Dankie, Bob, dat u my gehad het.

BOB: David Shariatmadari is adjunk -meningsredakteur op die Guardian's UK Comment desk, en skrywer van die Buzzword -reeks.


Resensie: Don't Believe A Word deur David Shariatmadari

Sluit aan by ons Patreon -gemeenskap vir eksklusiewe inhoud en bonusse.

Ek is mal oor taalkunde. Ek het rquove gestudeer (alhoewel ek nooit vloeiend was nie) in Japannees, Chinees, Korea, Frans en Duits. Ek is een van die mense wat gefassineer raak met woorde wat vertaal kan word, etimologie en die ontwikkeling van tale. Ek hou van aksente, dialekte en hoe taal so buigbaar en altyd in beweging kan wees. Ek en rsquove het argumente gehad met mense wat suur word oor slim nuwe slangterme, of oor die manier waarop woorde in en uit gewildheid val. En skielik kom hier 'n boek neer wat my nie net meer leer van wat ek altyd gefassineer het nie, maar ook bondig en met ywer, maar dit verdryf ook sommige van die mites waarin ek vasgevang was, naamlik die romantiese opvatting van & lsquountranslatable & rsquo -woorde en die moontlike gevare van die denkrigting. Don & rsquot Believe A Word is die boek waarvoor ek jare lank gewag het, en dit is alles wat ek ooit wou hê.

Don & rsquot Believe A Word

David Shariatmadari is 'n Londense skrywer wat taalkunde aan Cambridge sowel as SOAS bestudeer het. Hy verteenwoordig beide 'n realistiese en optimistiese neiging om te kyk na die waarheid van taal, die skoonheid van die evolusie daarvan en die ontbinding van onbehulpsame historiese en kulturele mites oor taal. In Don & rsquot Believe A Word, Shariatmadari lê 'n reeks hoofstukke uiteen, elk met 'n tergende en intrigerende mite oor taal (& lsquoLanguage gaan na die honde & rsquo & lsquoJy kan hierdie woord vertaal & rsquo & lsquoItaliaans is 'n taal & rsquo). Binne elk van hierdie hoofstukke bespreek hy algemene misverstande oor sowel Engels as ander tale regoor die wêreld, insluitend dié wat nie meer gebruik word nie en wat uitgesterf het. Daar is soveel rykdom en opwinding in wat ons in hierdie boek moet leer, dit is genoeg om u kop te laat draai.

U het waarskynlik gevoel, gehoor, of selfs iets gesê in die sin van: 'Om die waarheid te ken, bederf die magie daarvan'. van 'n mite. Don & rsquot Believe A Word bewys dat daar niks is om te bederf nie, net meer wonderlike dinge om te leer. Byvoorbeeld, ek het in die strik geval om opgewonde te raak oor woorde wat vertaal kan word. As 'n ywerige Japannese leerder is ek opgewonde oor magiese woorde soos tsundoku of komorebi Verwyder hierdie mistieke terme wat 'n gevoel of ervaring wat so bondig in Engels vertaal kan word, so perfek saamvat.

In Don & rsquot Believe A Word, sien ons die ander kant van die munt: hoe hierdie gevoelens nog steeds bestaan ​​in die gedagtes van diegene wat nie Japannees praat nie, maar dit kan 'n paar ekstra woorde verg om dit uit te druk. En hoe elke taal, insluitend Engels, woorde bevat wat meer bondig as uitdrukkingsvorme is as dié van ander tale. Dit is inderdaad ok en dit is eintlik opwindend om te leer dat dit wat u geglo het waar en magies was oor taal eintlik nie so geheimsinnig is nie. Want as u die waarheid leer, vind u dat daar nog meer te leer is.

Die omvang van wat Shariatmadari dek Don & rsquot Believe A Word is eerlik asemrowend, veral in ag genome hoe eenvoudig, duidelik, bondig en intiem dit alles bly. U voel op geen stadium oorweldig deur jargon of wetenskaplike verduideliking nie, en tog ondersoek u wat u hier leer, die evolusie van taal tussen en binne kulture, die maniere waarop babas leer praat en werklike filosofiese besprekings oor taal wat betekenis inlig en die ander verby. Daar is genoeg hier om veelvuldige lesings aan te moedig, en dit voel op geen stadium afskrikwekkend nie. Shariatmadari is vriendelik in sy skryfwerk en bied 'n moeitelose manier om te kommunikeer, met al die dryfkrag en opwinding van 'n onderwyser wat liries raak oor haar gunsteling roman.

Don & rsquot Believe A Word doen 'n wonderlike taak om u te verlig in wat dit gaan dek, deur klein feite oor u te pla wat u verbaas en gefassineer het en meer wil weet. En so gaan dit: jy reis dieper af in hierdie taalkundige konyngat, Shariatmadari terwyl jy jou met selfvertroue en gemaklike verduideliking lei. Hierdie boek is 'n ware reis na die uitgestrekte en gevarieerde landskap van taal. Ons begin met 'n vinnige en skerp ontkenning van hoe Engels deur jonger geslagte verwoes word deur luiheid, slangterme en teksspraak. 'N Onvergeetlike oomblik is wanneer Shariatmadari daarop wys hoeveel mense nie die transformasie van' lsquoask 'in' lsquoaks 'geniet nie, voordat hy onmiddellik verduidelik dat' lsquohorse & rsquo eens 'lsquohros & rsquo was, en dat die herbewerking van 'n woord op hierdie manier bekend staan ​​as metatese. Dit het altyd gebeur, en dit sal vir ewig bly gebeur.

& ldquo Taalverval is die kulturele ekwivalent van die seuntjie wat wolf gehuil het, behalwe dat die wolf nooit opdaag nie. & rdquo

Sodra Shariatmadari u aandag kry, laat hy nie los nie. Van hier af gaan ons na hoofstuk 2 ('n woord en oorsprong van die woord is die ware betekenis daarvan) en die bespreking van etimologie. Shariatmadari gebruik fantastiese voorbeelde wat jou laat glimlag en lag terwyl jy lees. Hy gebruik die woorde & lsquotreacle & rsquo en & lsquotoilet & rsquo as wonderlike voorbeelde van hoe die oorsprong van 'n woord ons nie help om die algemene gebruik daarvan te verstaan ​​of te verander nie. Die bespreking van & lsquotoilet & rsquo duur vir bladsye en bladsye, en beide verduidelik hoe ons van 'n baie verre betekenis gekom het tot wat ons vandag het, en verduidelik ook waarom die Franse eau de toilette bestaan ​​en lyk so vreemd.

Van hier af word die omvang van wat Shariatmadari moet leer, net groter en indrukwekkender. Ons gaan in hoofstuk 4 oor na filosofiese besprekings van bewussyn en wat ons van ander diere met betrekking tot taal skei. Verder na my gunsteling deel van die boek: Hoofstuk 5 (u kan hierdie woord vertaal). Hier word baie vleeslik sulke fassinerende onderwerpe bespreek, soos die woorde wat gebruik word vir kleure in verskillende tale (hoe sommige tale meer woorde het om kleure te onderskei as ander, en waarom dit is). En die mees fassinerende vir my is die gebruik van geslag in tale soos Frans, Duits en Spaans.

Shariatmadari beskryf 'n eksperiment deur die kognitiewe wetenskaplike Lera Boroditsky wat gelei het tot bevindings wat getoon het hoe die geslag wat aan 'n item in 'n taal gegee word, sprekers van die taal sal aanmoedig om die eienskappe van die taal aan die item self toe te ken. 'N Voorbeeld hiervan is & lsquokey & rsquo, wat 'n manlike woord in Duits is en 'n vroulike in Spaans. Duitssprekendes sou 'n sleutel as 'lsquohard' of 'lsquojagged' en 'rsquo' beskryf, terwyl Spaanse sprekers 'lsquolovely' of 'lsquoshiny' en 'lsquoshiny' sou sê, wat bewys dat taal 'n manier is om betekenis aan iets te heg. Dit het sulke breë kulturele implikasies met betrekking tot hoe 'n kultuur, godsdiens, politieke party, ens. Taal, moontlik moeiteloos, kan gebruik om ons persepsies van sekere mense te beïnvloed en dinge soos geslagsnorme in 'n land of kultuur vas te stel. Ek was, soos u kan sien, aangegryp deur hierdie hoofstuk en alles wat dit my moes leer.

Afsluiting

Ek sou my ervarings met hierdie boek vir bladsye kon vertel, maar dit sou uiteindelik net 'n hervertelling word van wat ek geleer het terwyl ek gelees het Don & rsquot Believe A Word. Maar daar is regtig soveel fassinerende geskiedenis, etimologie, mite-afbraak, kulturele verligting en meer om uit hierdie wonderlike boek te leer. Die omvang daarvan is duiselingwekkend, sy ambisies is volledig nagekom en die impak daarvan is onbeskryflik. Vir ons almal wat sinies raak oor veranderinge in taal, ons almal wat deur die sterkte en smeebaarheid van taal betower word, en ons almal wat geraak word deur en wat taal beïnvloed (dit wil sê ons almal), is dit boek is vir jou. Ek hoop van harte dat Don & rsquot Believe A Word een van die groot taalkundige instrumente van hierdie eeu is. En verder is dit 'n werklik aangename leesstof.


Gemeenskapsresensies

Don't Believe A Word is 'n ware verrassing vir enige woordnerd of skrywer. Dit is 'n boek oor die wetenskap van taal, dus u moet in u gunsteling boekhoek kom en alle afleidings vermy. U moet in die taalgebied wees en gefokus wees as u die meeste uit hierdie boeiende leesstof wil put.

Dink aan 'n tyd wat u in die buiteland met vakansie was en hoe vertroostend dit was om iemand met 'n bekende aksent te hoor. U het geen idee of hierdie persoon Ted Bundy 2.0 is of 'n sketsmatige kunstenaar Don't Believe A Word 'n goeie verrassing vir enige woordnerd of skrywer is nie. Dit is 'n boek oor die wetenskap van taal, dus u moet in u gunsteling boekhoek kom en alle afleidings vermy. U moet in die taalgebied wees en gefokus wees as u die meeste uit hierdie boeiende leesstof wil put.

Dink aan 'n tyd wat u in die buiteland met vakansie was en hoe vertroostend dit was om iemand met 'n bekende aksent te hoor. U het geen idee of hierdie persoon Ted Bundy 2.0 is of 'n skelm kunstenaar wat u wil neem nie, maar u neem aan dat hulle vriendelik sal wees. Dit is meer waarskynlik dat u versigtig is en u straatkuns verhoog as u omring word deur 'n klomp buitelandse inwoners. Maar in 'n vreemde land, as u 'n bekende stem van die huis af hoor, is u waarskynlik 'n bietjie meer oop.

Ek was veral lief daarvoor om die oorsprong van 'n paar woorde soos Lucifer en toilet te leer, en hoe dit mettertyd iets heeltemal anders beteken. Ek was ook mal oor die ontdekkingsverhaal van die Rosetta -steen en hoe belangrik die ontdekking was om tale wat al lankal ontsyfer is, te ontsyfer.

Agter in die boek is daar 'n uitgebreide woordelys en bladsye vol verwysings wat elke woordnerd kan verslind. Pasop dat u nie in die konyngat van taal val nie. As u dit wel doen, moet u seker maak dat u boekhoek vir 'n lang vergadering is, met voorraad byderhand.

Skrywer David Shariatmadari is 'n kenner op sy gebied en die passie wat hy vir woorde het, skyn regtig helder op die bladsye. Daar is baie om te leer met Don't Believe A Word, en 'n paar mites wat verby is, was vir my 'n openbaring. 'N Baie aangename en fassinerende lees!
. meer

Ek is hierdie boek gestuur as 'n vooraf luisterkopie via libro.fm vir hersieningsdoeleindes, maar alle opinies is my eie.

Ek het baie daarvan gehou om hierna te luister; ek was altyd in 'n breë sin geïnteresseerd in taal en die uitgangspunt van hierdie boek het my dadelik laat begin.

Ek het niks van taalkunde geweet nie, so ek kan sê of dit 'n gevorderde boek is of nie, maar kundiges op die gebied sal dit anders as ek kan beoordeel, maar ek het gedink dinge word duidelik verduidelik vir iemand Ek is hierdie boek gestuur as 'n vooraf luisterkopie via libro.fm vir hersieningsdoeleindes, maar alle opinies is my eie.

Ek het baie daarvan gehou om hierna te luister; ek was nog altyd geïnteresseerd in taal in 'n breë sin en die uitgangspunt van hierdie boek het my dadelik laat begin.

Ek het niks van taalkunde geweet nie, so ek kan nie sê of dit 'n gevorderde boek is nie, maar kundiges op die gebied kan dit anders as ek beoordeel, maar ek het gedink dinge word duidelik verduidelik vir iemand soos ek, en ek het dit nooit gevind nie Te moeilik.

Vanweë die formaat (ek het na die oudioboek geluister) was daar sekere dele wat 'n bietjie ongemaklik gevoel het, en ek sou self wou lees, maar in die algemeen was dit 'n wonderlike luister en as u slegs fiksie in klankformaat kan doen (soos ek ) Ek beveel dit sterk aan.

(Net 'n kort opmerking: GOYA was in die naam van die Spaanse skilder Francisco José de Goya. You go figure) https://lithub.com/why-we-love-untran.

(Net 'n kort opmerking: GOYA was in die naam van die Spaanse skilder Francisco José de Goya. Jy gaan figuur). meer

Die NY Times -beoordelaar hou daarvan: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/01/01/bo.
Uittreksel:
Dit is 'n vinnige en vriendelike inleiding tot die taalkunde en 'n samevatting van die onlangse ontdekkings van die veld. Soveel meer is nou bekend oor hoe taal ontwikkel, hoe diere kommunikeer en hoe kinders leer praat. Sulke bevindinge bly egter meestal in die akademie. Ons 'onversadigbare aptyt vir taalkundige debat', skryf Shariatmadari, is gebore uit verwarring. 'Waarom praat duisendjariges hul eie taal? Die NY Times -beoordelaar hou daarvan: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/01/01/bo.
Uittreksel:
"Dit is 'n vinnige en vriendelike inleiding tot die taalkunde en 'n samevatting van die onlangse ontdekkings van die veld. Daar is nou baie meer bekend oor hoe taal ontwikkel, hoe diere kommunikeer en hoe kinders leer praat. Sulke bevindings bly egter meestal in die akademie gevestig . Ons “onversadigbare aptyt vir taalkundige debat”, skryf Shariatmadari, is uit verwarring gebore. 'n taal beskerm teen die invloed van buite? ...

[H] uman -kommunikasie is voortdurend aan die gang en moet verstaan ​​word, volgens hierdie boek, as ''n momentopname' 'van 'n tyd, plek en spesifieke gemeenskap van sprekers. Selfs die eenvoudigste woorde verander mettertyd. 'Adder', 'voorskoot' en 'skeidsregter', byvoorbeeld, was oorspronklik 'naders', 'napron' en 'numpire'. Voël was vroeër 'brid' en 'perd', 'hros', omskrywings van letters wat later die norm geword het. 'Leeg' was vroeër 'leeg' - 'n transformasie wat fisika aan die werk onthul, volgens Shariatmadari. 'Die eenvoudige meganika om van 'n neusgeluid (' m 'of 'n') na 'n nie-neus te beweeg, kan 'n konsonant laat opduik tussenin '-in hierdie geval die' p 'klank wat ons hoor.
. meer

Gegewe hoe belangrik taal is, word daar baie nonsens daaroor gepraat.

Hierdie boek is daarop gemik om verskeie gewilde mites oor taal uit die weg te ruim en gebruikers te waarsku oor die vordering wat dinge soos bandopnemers, enorme taaldatabasisse en MRI-skandeerders gemaak het om ons te verstaan ​​hoe taal werk in die werklike wêreld.

Alhoewel dit gewilde idees as uitgangspunt neem, vermy dit nie om in die dieptes van taalkundige omstredenheid in te gaan nie, met 'n skerp analise van onderwerpe soos t Aangesien taal belangrik is, word daar baie nonsens daaroor gepraat.

Hierdie boek is daarop gemik om verskeie gewilde mites oor taal uit die weg te ruim en gebruikers te waarsku oor die vordering wat dinge soos bandopnemers, enorme taaldatabasisse en MRI-skandeerders gemaak het om ons te verstaan ​​hoe taal werk in die werklike wêreld.

Alhoewel dit gewilde idees as uitgangspunt neem, vermy dit nie om in die dieptes van taalkundige kontroversie in te gaan nie, met 'n skerp analise van onderwerpe soos die Sapir-Whorf-hipotese en Chomsky's Universal Grammar. Hierdie besprekings, hoewel streng, word nooit te tegnies nie, en die boek is in die algemeen vinnig en aangenaam om te lees.

As taalkundige wanopvattings die tipe dinge is waarmee u dit nie sal doen nie, is dit 'n wonderlike boek.
. meer

Dit is 'n interessante en insiggewende boek, hoewel ek sukkel om dit tot die einde toe te hou sonder om myself te dwing.

Ek hou van sy demonstrasie van hoe die idee dat die Engelse standaarde afneem 'n mite is (elke generasie hou by die taal waarmee hulle grootgemaak is, aangesien die taal nooit ophou om te vorder nie), maar daarna het hulle 'n paar klaargemaak met die boeke weke gelede sukkel ek om die belangrikste punte van die skrywer te onthou. Deels omdat dit redelik dig is, is dit 'n interessante en insiggewende boek, hoewel ek sukkel om dit tot die einde toe te hou sonder om myself te dwing.

I liked his demonstration of how the idea that the standards of English are declining is a myth (each generation sticking to the language they have been brought up with, as the language never ceases to progress) but beyond that, having finished the books a couple weeks ago, I struggle to remember any major points argued by the author. Partly because it's quite a dense book to follow as an audio (aka mostly while doing something else). . meer

This isn&apost a book that should be listened to on its own. Thanks (or no thanks) to the number of pronunciations that the author doles out, it would be better if you could read the physical copy as you listen to the audiobook. That way, you can see the word while you listen to the author explain it, and I feel like that&aposs important for a book like this.

If, in the future, I were to get my hands on a paperback of this book, I&aposm definitely going to give it another try! DNF.

This isn't a book that should be listened to on its own. Thanks (or no thanks) to the number of pronunciations that the author doles out, it would be better if you could read the physical copy as you listen to the audiobook. That way, you can see the word while you listen to the author explain it, and I feel like that's important for a book like this.

If, in the future, I were to get my hands on a paperback of this book, I'm definitely going to give it another try! . meer

I found two of these chapters interesting - the one on the Internet's favorite "untranslatable" words in other languages and the one arguing that Italian is not a language, but rather comprised of several dialects and is itself a dialect of other languages in the area. I found these to be something like fun(-ish) dinner party conversation, although you run the risk of being that annoying person in the room dead set on proving everyone wrong. The other chapters were nothing very interesting or new to me, and I'm a person who rather likes learning about linguistics and the history of language. I don't even find most of these to be commonly-held beliefs about language that I've encountered I wouldn't really put up a fight to around half of his "myths."

Many of these chapters were also far too long to enjoy - the book is about 330 pages, but could have easily been cut down by 30-50% if you removed all of the somewhat random stories and repetitive points. Overall, for a more interesting release on linguistics this year, I'd recommend Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language.

Thank you to W.W. Norton for the ARC via Netgalley.
. meer

Fascinating but Too Long

This is a book for language-lovers, polyglots, and word-nerds. The author takes on a few myths about language and debunks them in the most fascinating, albeit meandering and repetitive, accessible narrative. Looking beyond etymology and definitions, I enjoyed learning about how some words were spawned and how languages evolved.

Chapter 2 is one of my favorites. I loved how the author talked about etymology and how it didn&apost always match the contemporary meaning of a word. Fascinating but Too Long

This is a book for language-lovers, polyglots, and word-nerds. The author takes on a few myths about language and debunks them in the most fascinating, albeit meandering and repetitive, accessible narrative. Looking beyond etymology and definitions, I enjoyed learning about how some words were spawned and how languages evolved.

Chapter 2 is one of my favorites. I loved how the author talked about etymology and how it didn't always match the contemporary meaning of a word. Words like "Lucifer" and "decimation”, which started out meaning something completely different from what we know them for today.

I particularly enjoyed the section on the history of the word “toilet". How it came into English from the French, toilette, meaning a piece of cloth, and how it evolved over the centuries to be synonymous with lavatory. It was funny and educational in the same measure.

The book is rife with interesting linguistic concepts like merge, cooperative principle, universal grammar, and aphasia. It’s probably the most accessible book on linguistics out there. I haven’t read many, but out of the ones I read, this is by the far the easiest to grasp.

This isn’t a book for everyone. I learned a lot reading it, but I think it could have used some serious editing. Chapter 3, in particular, was tedious. If you can bear the laborious chapters, this could be an education if you’re interested in language and its history. . meer

To put my review in context, here&aposs my background with linguistics: I&aposve studied language and linguistics for fun at the amateur level since I was a kid, and I studied linguistics at the undergraduate level, and majored in foreign languages. If you already have a good amateur background in linguistics and language history, this book won&apost teach you anything you don&apost already know. If you have no background in linguistics, but are interested in getting some, then this is a great introductory book To put my review in context, here's my background with linguistics: I've studied language and linguistics for fun at the amateur level since I was a kid, and I studied linguistics at the undergraduate level, and majored in foreign languages. If you already have a good amateur background in linguistics and language history, this book won't teach you anything you don't already know. If you have no background in linguistics, but are interested in getting some, then this is a great introductory book to help you learn some fun and interesting concepts. The rest of my review summarizes what each chapter covers, and then I'll make some recommendations for further learning.

Each chapter is supposed to refute a common misconception about language. Some chapters work better than others.

Chapter 1 is a refutation of the argument that English (or any language) is diminishing in elegance or usefulness because of "bad grammar" or "internet speak" or whatever "kids these days" argument old fuddy-duddies are making. It goes through the history of language fuddy-duddies through time, and how common it is for older people to feel like language is "degenerating" when it changes in perfectly normal ways they have trouble keeping up with.

Chapter 2 refutes the argument that etymology is the be-all, end-all of any word's definition, and you should always go back to the original meaning of a word in order to understand what it should mean now. This is a stupid argument, and easily refuted.

Chapter 3 didn't hang together for me very well at all. Shariatmadari seems to equate code-switching with traumatic aphasia to refute the argument that individuals control exactly how they speak. I enjoyed the anecdotes in this chapter, but I don't think it was a coherent argument.

Chapter 4 was the worst one, in my opinion. It unquestioningly accepts the premise that Koko the gorilla learned to speak, without taking into account any of the recent scholarship debunking the whole Koko experiment. I agree with the author that animals can communicate, but human communication via language is in a totally different category than the animal communication we've been able to study so far. After reading this chapter, I honestly don't even know what he was trying to prove.

Chapter 5 debunks the Sapir-Whorf theory, which is great. That theory is always ripe for a good debunking. (If you've ever heard someone say "Eskimos have 16 different words for snow!" and thought that was pretty cool, you should definitely read this chapter. Also, stop saying "Eskimo," because it's racist.)

Chapter 6 explains languages and dialects, and how trying to differentiate between those two definitions is a waste of time.

Chapter 7 discusses how communication goes beyond the literal words we say, and why AIs still can't pass the Turing test. It discusses pragmatics and Paul Grice's cooperative principle of conversation. I wasn't familiar with either of these things, so I learned some interesting new concepts from this chapter, but I have to assume other students of linguistics will already know about this.

Chapter 8 refutes the argument that any language can be "superior" to any other language. This is also great. Considering some languages "primitive" is definitely racist and not borne out by the evidence.

Chapter 9 refutes Noam Chomsky's "universal grammar" argument. This was the chapter most interesting to me, because when I was in college, we read Chomsky and Pinker uncritically. I really appreciated this book's breakdown of how the evidence doesn't fit the theory, and I'm glad to learn that linguists were out doing the actual fieldwork to determine this. Hopefully, people with a more current linguistic education than mine already know this.

In short, I'll reiterate that this book is a good beginner's overview, but people with a linguistic background can skip it.

For further information, I recommend the following podcasts:

The Allusionist podcast is entirely about language and linguistics, and it goes into detail on the widely varied topics in each episode. I always learn something new from this podcast.
https://www.theallusionist.org/ . meer

It would be best, in fact, to believe very little from this author about language. This book basically consists of various attempts on the part of the author to provide truths about language and to explode language myths. As is frequently the case, though, the author&aposs efforts to do so are hindered by the fact that his political agendas get in the way. And like all people of his ilk when it comes to languages, there are clear contradictions that the author is not honest enough to address. For ex It would be best, in fact, to believe very little from this author about language. This book basically consists of various attempts on the part of the author to provide truths about language and to explode language myths. As is frequently the case, though, the author's efforts to do so are hindered by the fact that his political agendas get in the way. And like all people of his ilk when it comes to languages, there are clear contradictions that the author is not honest enough to address. For example, like many contemporary linguists, the author appears highly sensitive to the idea presented by some that some languages are better than others, which has caused a problem when one deals with pidgins or creole languages and with various vernacular dialects. On the other hand, the author also notes that some languages do appear to be more unsafe than others, like Finnish relative to Swedish, in part because of the way that certain languages draw attention to various matters of process that others do not, which would indicate that in essential and important areas some languages are in fact better than others, which would undercut the political aims of the writer, something he could have thought more seriously and more honestly about.

This book is between 250 and 300 pages and it is divided into nine chapters. The book begins with an introduction. After that the author visits various cliches and seeks to dispatch several straw men of his choosing, beginning with the long history of English going to the dogs and the desire to recover a supposed period when English was more pure and less messy (1). After that the author looks at the problem of the history of words and how they clash with usage (here the handy word decimate comes to mind) (2). After that the author questions the idea that we can fully control what comes out of our mouth, pointing out that there are indeed some cases and examples where we cannot (3). There is a discussion of the communication we can have with animals (4). The author comments that all words can be translated, even while conceding that this cannot always be done easily (5). There is a discussion about language continua that denies that Italian is a language, pointing out rather that it is a set of related and mutually intelligible dialects, some of which have done better than others (6). Then there is a discussion of sarcasm to prove that what we say is not (always) what we mean, at which point the straw man has been beaten up pretty badly (7). After this there is a discussion about how languages are not better than others (8) and that language, rather than an instinct, requires learning (9). This is followed by acknowledgements, a glossary, references, and an index.

It is no great surprise that our understanding of language is frequently muddled and not very precise. There are a great many ways in which we can exaggerate about language to the point of thinking that archaic or obscure languages cannot deal with certain aspects of the world. It is more correct to say that all languages possess the ability to coin or borrow new words to express aspects of reality if the speakers and writers of those languages choose to. Some of us, myself included, have coined words or sought for their inclusion from other languages because we did not find anything in our own language that suited our purposes in talking about a given subject [1]. And this ought not to be seen as a strange thing. Whether or not such words catch on with other people, we can at least define them well enough for our own purposes in the hope that they may be understood by others. If the author helps in this task, despite his biases and lamentable double standards, then this work will not be entirely in vain.

Good recent stuff about language and what we know these days. Like in Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries , we again are reminded that language means what we intend it to mean and that there is (disquietingly) no objective standard other than the agreements tacitly understood when communicating. So Humpty Dumpty was right*.

The author chips away, respectfully, at the Noam Chomsky pedestal, who like Freud may have postulated a good deal more than he could prove. The assertion is that he Good recent stuff about language and what we know these days. Like in Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries , we again are reminded that language means what we intend it to mean and that there is (disquietingly) no objective standard other than the agreements tacitly understood when communicating. So Humpty Dumpty was right*.

The author chips away, respectfully, at the Noam Chomsky pedestal, who like Freud may have postulated a good deal more than he could prove. The assertion is that he hypothesized Universal Grammar without much in the way of empirical evidence, and now that the corpus is a lot easier to digest, the evidence has not appeared.

I liked the content but I still found my mind wandering with some frequency.

===
*
“I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland . meer


The Podcast Browser

The Guardian Books Podcast | 6 August 2019 | 0h 35m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interviews with David Shariatmadari, author of Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language and Cecelia Watson, author of Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark. Insights on language and punctuation.


Ali Shariatmadari

Ali Shariatmadari (1924 – 9 January 2017) was an Iranian academic and educationist who was Minister of Culture in the interim government of Mehdi Bazargan in 1979. He was President of the Iranian Academy of Sciences from 1990 until 1998. He was also a Professor of Education at the Teacher Training University in Tehran and a member of High Council of the Cultural Revolution from 1982 until his death.

He graduated with a BA in Law from University of Tehran in 1951 and went on to complete his higher education in the United States, gaining an MA in Secondary School Education at the University of Michigan in 1957.

While an academic at Shiraz University, Shariatmadari spent four months in solitary confinement as a result of supporting a student demonstration against French actions in Algeria during a visit by the Shah to the city.

With the advent of the Islamic revolution in 1979, he was made Minister of Culture in Mehdi Bazargan's interim government. Bazargan and his entire cabinet resigned in November 1979, after the Ayatollah Khomeini's advisers supported the student occupation of the US embassy in Tehran. The government had made assurances that it would end the hostage crisis. [1]

Subsequently, he was tasked, together with Mostafa Moein, Ahmad Ahmadi and Abdolkarim Soroush, with training and vetting professors, selecting students, and Islamizing universities and their curricula. [2]

Shariatmadari died on 9 January 2017, aged 93. [3]

  1. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen (7 November 1979). "Bazargan Resignation Follows Long Internal Fight". Die New York Times.
  2. ^
  3. Samii, Bill (22 October 2004). "Analysis: Disunited Reformist Front In Iran Seeks Presidential Candidate". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty . Retrieved 28 September 2010 .
  4. ^
  5. "علی شریعتمداری درگذشت". Fars News Agency (in Persian). 9 January 2017 . Retrieved 2017-01-09 .

This Iranian academic-related biographical article is a stub. U kan Wikipedia help deur dit uit te brei.

This biographical article about an academic administrator is a stub. U kan Wikipedia help deur dit uit te brei.

This article about an educational theorist is a stub. U kan Wikipedia help deur dit uit te brei.


The Limits of Standard English

Few large groups of English speakers have borne as great a burden of stigma as black people. In the time of slavery, that stigma was enshrined in law—and even after emancipation, legal measures have been used to ensure that black people could not easily vote, could not access decent education and transportation, and so on. Since the civil rights era, many legal barriers to equality have been removed, but society has yet to catch up. As of the second decade of the twenty-first century, black people are almost five times as likely to be jailed as white people, despite making up only 13 percent of the population. It’s not surprising, then, that the dialect many black people speak is stigmatized, too—to such a great extent that it’s often denied the status of dialect, becoming merely “bad” English. That assumption has become so ingrained, it’s even taken up by some black people themselves.

“There is no such thing as ‘talking white’ … It’s actually called ‘speaking fluently,’ speaking your language correctly. I don’t know why we’ve gotten to a place where as a culture—as a race—if you sound as though you have more than a fifth-grade education, it’s a bad thing.” This was the argument of a young black woman whose video on the subject went viral in 2014. In her view, speaking what linguists call African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is not speaking “fluent” English. It is bad English—the kind of English that should be dispensed with by the time you’re eleven years old. As the journalist Jamelle Bouie wrote about the video, “the … ideas that black Americans disparage ‘proper English’ and education and use a ‘broken’ version of the language have wide currency among many Americans, including blacks.”

The funny thing is, most English-speaking people, wherever they live, are to some extent familiar with AAVE. That’s because of the powerful projection of black culture through movies and music, including the massive popularity of hip-hop. Despite being stigmatized in America itself, the dialect has cachet around the world, though arguably that’s because it’s seen as “edgy”—romanticized as the argot of gangsters and drug dealers. So when Britons or Australians read phrases like “I ain’t lyin,” “I ain’t never seen nothin’ like it,” “He be workin’ hard,” they can identify the speaker as likely being black they can conjure up the accent and intonation in their minds’ ear.

And yet because this dialect is one that’s very close to standard English, and is used by a group whose status is generally low, it gets branded as “sloppy speaking,” “slang,” or “ghetto.” The last label, although freighted with racial judgment, could at least make linguistic sense. We know that dialects emerge when there is geographical stasis. In areas of cities that are primarily black for a number of years, even decades, distinctive ways of speaking are likely to develop—more so given that the isolation is in this case both physical and social.

As Geoffrey K. Pullum makes clear in an article entitled “African American Vernacular English is not standard English with mistakes,” AAVE is a dialect no less complex or expressive than more prestigious forms of the language. It is rule-bound and systematic. It also happens to be the means of communication of a marginalized, often economically disadvantaged group of people. In fact, AAVE possesses at least one fine grammatical distinction that standard English completely lacks. Pullum explains that there is a “remote present perfect” tense in AAVE, evident in expressions like “she been married,” where “been” is emphasized. This doesn’t just mean “she has been married,” but “she is married and has been for some considerable time.” In a similar way, the AAVE form “be” + present participle—“be walking,” “be singing,” et cetera—is often mistaken for the equivalent of the English present continuous tense: “is walking,” “is singing.” In fact, it marks what is called “habitual aspect”—meaning the action is performed as a rule, not necessarily right this minute. “He be singing” therefore means not “he is singing,” but “he sings [as a hobby, or professionally].”

Another distinctive feature of AAVE is the use of the double negative, as in: “I ain’t never seen nothin’ like it.” In standard English, this would be “I haven’t ever seen anything like it.” What is the reason for a double-up like this? If you say “I ain’t never,” don’t the two phrases cancel each other out? Aren’t you saying you have in fact seen it? That’s one argument for why this is just “bad,” irrational, sloppy English—but it’s wrong. What we’re seeing here is not logical negation but, as Pullum points out, a fairly common linguistic strategy called “negative concord”—negative agreement, in much the same way that, in French, nouns and the pronouns and adjectives used to describe them in a sentence must all agree in gender. Plenty of other languages have developed negative concord, for example Italian. “There is no one there” would be non c’e nessuno—literally “not is no one [there],” grammatically closer to the AAVE “ain’t nobody there.” It wouldn’t be plausible to accuse sixty million speakers of standard Italian of sloppiness or speaking in slang. So why would we do the same with AAVE?

AAVE often leaves out what linguists call the “copula”—that grammatical form of the verb “to be” (in other words, not the form that means “to exist,” as in “there once were dinosaurs,” or “to be equal to”—as in “God is love”). So a black speaker might say “How you doing?” or “You late.” But the standard forms of many languages do this—for example Arabic, where “You are late” is Anta muta’akhir—literally, “You late.”

None of these facts dampened the controversy in 1996 when the school board of Oakland, California, passed a motion addressing AAVE, which it called “Ebonics.” The board made clear it would recognize the dialect used at home by many of its pupils and would deploy it in the classroom, for example to “translate” standard English sentences so that students could understand them better. It is a mark of the stigmatization of AAVE that this move was met with fury, igniting a debate across the United States. A widespread assumption was that it was an example of “political correctness gone mad,” where a clearly substandard form of the language was being elevated simply because it was used by black people. The desire to bend over backward to accommodate an ethnic group’s sensitivities was trumping the need to deliver a high-quality education to the students of Oakland. The move was condemned as dumbing down, and of depriving black students the means by which to improve themselves. It was criticized by pundits both black and white. The civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said: “While we are fighting in California trying to extend affirmative action and fighting to teach our children so they become more qualified for jobs, in Oakland some madness has erupted over making slang talk a second language. You don’t have to go to school to learn to talk garbage.”

Given just how disparaged AAVE is, it’s not surprising that it was viewed as “garbage.” And it’s certainly true, given the way such attitudes permeate the worlds of employment and higher education, that students who could not master standard English would be at a disadvantage. But would using AAVE in classrooms squeeze out standard English, or aid its speakers in getting to grips with the more prestigious variety? Here’s what the Linguistic Society of America said in a 1997 resolution: “The systematic and expressive nature of the grammar and pronunciation patterns of the African American Vernacular has been established by numerous scientific studies over the past thirty years. Characterizations of Ebonics as ‘slang,’ ‘mutant,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘defective,’ ‘ungrammatical,’ or ‘broken English’ are incorrect and demeaning.” Not only that: “There is evidence from Sweden, the US, and other countries that speakers of other varieties can be aided in their learning of the standard variety by pedagogical approaches which recognize the legitimacy of the other varieties of a language. From this perspective, the Oakland School Board’s decision to recognize the vernacular of black students in teaching them Standard English is linguistically and pedagogically sound.”

In other words, using AAVE to help students acquire standard English actually speeds up that process. So why the fuss? Really, it just comes down to the closeness of AAVE to English—which enables it to be regarded as merely a sloppy version of the latter—combined with the extreme stigmatization of black people, such that symbols of their culture, including dialect, denote worthlessness. Among white people, anger at the normalization of AAVE might have been rooted in fears that it would, as a result, be in a better position to “contaminate” standard English.

Politics and language frequently collide in this way how could they not? The way we speak becomes distinctive when we are separated from outside influences, either geographically, socially, or both. Over time, distinct dialects become powerfully symbolic of those networks. They can be badges of pride, or of shame. They can be elevated to the status of “language,” remain dialects, or get disparaged as slang. But these decisions are mostly sociopolitical, to do with stigma and status. The linguistic categorization starts with the idiolect—the forms of speech used by a single person. A collection of mutually intelligible idiolects forms a dialect. Where two dialects are not mutually intelligible, they are often called “languages”—unless there is a political or cultural reason not to regard them as such—as with Arabic, for example.

Languages don’t have hard borders. In places where populations have been stable for many centuries a dialect continuum can develop, as in southern Europe, where Italian blends into French and then to Spanish. So what is Italian? What is English, French or Spanish? Are they objects you can point to? Where do they begin and end?

In truth, of course, the mistake lies in taking languages to be “things,” analogous to objects. Once again, we find ourselves under the net. Because we can say “I learned Spanish” using the same syntax as “I kicked a ball,” we take the shorthand—Spanish is a “thing” that can have something done to it—to be reality.

Languages do exist, but they are not necessarily the things we take them for. On the one hand, we each have an understanding of at least our mother tongue that allows us to produce sentences in it according to certain rules. I say “I kicked the ball” not “the ball kicked I.” That knowledge of rules in our brains is one part of the reality of a language. The other part is its existence as an autonomous system, a means of communication whose form is negotiated between speakers. It is not fixed, but changes as it is used in millions of separate interactions.

David Shariatmadari is a writer and editor at the Voog. He studied linguistics at Cambridge University and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he now lives.

Excerpted from Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth about Language. Copyright © 2019 by David Shariatmadari. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.


Why We Love Untranslatable Words

Goya. A small word, but one that contains multitudes. It is one of those mythic beasts, the “untranslatables,” the foreign words that supposedly lack any equivalent in English. Lists of them spread virally online. Someone may have shared one with you on social media: it might have included utepils, sgrìob en saudade—of which more later. But for now, let us examine goya.

Urdu speakers know the meaning of goya in their bones for the rest of us it is a mystery. When a native son or daughter of Pakistan hears it, whole worlds are conjured—scenes of tales told around a fire as the smoke rises into the crisp air of the Hindu Kush, of being dandled on a grandmother’s knee, of being told a cautionary tale by a village elder as a child and remembering it for the rest of your days. “Goya,” as one breathless internet account has it, “is an Urdu word that refers to the transporting suspension of disbelief that happens when fantasy is so realistic that it temporarily becomes reality . . . usually associated with good, powerful storytelling.”

Goya. Almost a mystical experience in itself. But look it up in a dictionary and you’ll find “as if,” “as though” and “as it were.” One Urdu speaker I asked translated it as “as though” another, “and so.” It’s used to make or clarify a point—the sentence might be structured as “and so (goya), as I was saying.” Based on this, it seems to function as a discourse marker, which the Cambridge A–Z of Spoken and Written Grammar defines as “words or phrases like ‘anyway,’ ‘right,’ ‘okay,’ ‘as I say,’ ‘to begin with.’ We use them to connect, organize and manage what we say or write or to express attitude.” Dis dit. No mystical campfires here. No “transporting suspension of disbelief that happens when fantasy is so realistic that it temporarily becomes reality,” unless the Hindu Kush you’re thinking of is the strain of cannabis. Whoever came up with this translation even seems to have got the grammar wrong: their explanation suggests a (very) abstract noun, whereas goya is an adverb, formed on the stem of a Farsi verb meaning “to speak.” (In that language, the ultimate source of the Urdu word, gooya means “as it were,” “as you would say” or “apparently.”)

So how did this happen? There is something deeply seductive about the idea that other languages contain codes that are impossible to crack, as I know from first-hand experience. When I was a kid, I used to sit in the hallway and listen to my dad speak Farsi on the phone to his relatives in Tehran. I had no idea what he was saying, and nor did my brother and sister. But we learned to recognize certain phrases, two in particular: tarjimmykonee en azbezutumkay. We used to repeat them, over and over. Like “abracadabra,” they seemed to be incantations. Dad was a magician. When, as an adult, I learned what these phrases actually were, I realized the extent to which we had filtered them through our English-attuned ears, distorting the sounds and syllables. And the meaning was more prosaic than I imagined, too. Tavajoh mikonee can be translated as “Are you paying attention?,” a conversational filler like “Do you see?” or “D’you know what I mean?” Arz be hozuretan ke is a polite stock phrase similar to “May I say, . . . ”

I was a child, but adults should know better than to believe that other cultures speak in spells. The concept of “untranslatable words” preserves the idea that the world can never be fully mapped out and expunged of mystery. That’s a comforting thought. It keeps alive the possibility of escape—of something surviving far beyond our everyday experiences.

The concept of “untranslatable words” preserves the idea that the world can never be fully mapped out and expunged of mystery.

It is also an easy replacement for the hard tasks of em­pathy and understanding. The campfire in the mountains is a beautiful fantasy of Pakistan that does two things: it allows us to imagine that we don’t have very much in common with the average Pakistani. It puts them at one remove, which fits with the strange stories we hear about them: that they’re by turns esoteric, warlike, fanatical, eccentric and primitive. It also saves us having to learn what the circumstances of life might actually be like there. The difficulty of getting credit in order to afford a washing machine, the poor production values of daytime TV. If all that seems fairly harmless, think about it this way: when you believe people are unfathomable because they speak a different language, you’re just as capable of thinking that they’re inferior or evil, instead of charming or other-worldly.

The cult of untranslatables goes beyond orientalism. They spread, meme-like, with the same misleading explanations repeated. Often, they hew suspiciously closely to stereotypes about the culture in question. Cheerfully eccentric Nordic types, when they’re not in the sauna, like nothing better than utepils: “Norwegian for to sit outside on a sunny day enjoying a beer.” How quaint. And how informative about Scandinavian culture. Except, utepils isn’t a verb, it’s a compound noun, from ute meaning “outside” and pils, “beer” (after the Czech town Plzen, which produces one popular type). So it means “outside-beer”—a concept hardly foreign to British people, for example, whose pubs frequently come equipped with beer gardens.

Author Bill Bryson tells us that “Gaelic speakers of Scotland . . . have a word for the itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky. (Wouldn’t they just?) It’s sgrìob. ” The modern dictionary definition is in fact a scratch, or scrape. Bryson was probably columnist Allan Brown’s source when he wrote in Die tye of “the Gaelic word describing the tingle of anticipation felt in the upper lip before drinking whisky.” He went on: “The fact that Gaelic has a six-letter word for this while English has a twelve-word phrase reveals a lot about Gaelic ways and priorities.” The linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum wrote this withering response to Brown’s column for his website Language Log:

I happen to know a one-syllable word (turd) for a piece of excrement shaped by its expulsion from the anal sphincter, but that doesn’t reveal a lot about my ways and priorities. It is a completely meaningless and useless random factoid about the lexicon of the language I happened to grow up speaking. That lexicon also contains scrum, botterblom, ogre, bong, en thorium. If you try to form an impression of my ways and priorities from such things you’re a moron.

Is Bryson at least right about the meaning, though? His definition can be traced back to an illustrative example in a dictionary of Gaelic compiled by Robert Archibald Armstrong and published in—wait for it—1825. The primary definition here is still “scratch, scrape.” It can be used, we are told, to describe “an itching of the lip, superstitiously supposed to precede a feast or a kiss from a favorite.” The phrases given are sgrìob poige (itching preceding a kiss) and sgrìob dibhe (itching preceding a dram). Given that dibhe just means “drink,” we might gloss sgrìob dibhe as “drink-itch,” a perfectly translatable, if idiomatic, term which brings to mind something like “gagging for a drink.” I think it’s a stretch to define any part of that expression as uniquely, mysteriously English.

Another popular untranslatable is Age-otori, Japanese for “the state of looking worse after getting a haircut.” It’s sometimes quoted as Age-tori, which caused confusion for my Japanese informant because that is one way of saying “fried chicken.” Age-otori, on the other hand, is something modern Japanese people have to google, because they never use it. Daar is 'n rede daarvoor. Die Kojien dictionary tells us that it has been used with the meaning of “formally styling one’s hair for a coming-of-age ceremony, with the contrary effect of making oneself look worse than before,” but notes that this is attested in Die verhaal van Genji, a literary work from the eleventh century that describes in detail the mores and ceremonies of the Japanese imperial court. What does “untranslatability” mean exactly when the phrase requires explanation to speakers of the source language?

Then there are words like saudade, which most patriotic Portuguese speakers will be happy to explain is untranslatable. They often go on to immediately translate it as “a nostalgic feeling of missing someone or something you love.” This, granted, is not a single, pithy word, but it’s a concept that feels anything but alien. You could also argue that “homesickness” in English, while it mostly refers to missing the place you usually live, can be used metaphor­ically with a much wider meaning. The phrase “homesick for yesterday,” if a little whimsical, doesn’t sound nonsensical to me at all. (Tobias Becker, a historian of popular culture, has used it as the title of a research project on nostalgia.) The short-story collection by Ottessa Moshfegh, “Homesick for Another World,” has a title that conveys something more than simply the desire to be where you once were. Saudade’s scope might actually be more restricted than “homesick”—one native Portuguese speaker assured me it can only be used about things that have been experienced—so “saudade for another world” wouldn’t make sense.

Van Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language by David Shariatmadari. Used with the permission of W. W. Norton & Company. Copyright © 2020 by David Shariatmadari.


Don't Believe A Word

‘Wonderful. You finish the book more alive than ever to the enduring mystery and miracle of that thing that makes us most human’ STEPHEN FRY

‘Most popular books on language dumb down Shariatmadari’s smartens things up, and is all the more entertaining for it’ THE SUNDAY TIMES, a Book of the Year

‘A meaty, rewarding and necessary read’ GUARDIAN

‘Fascinating and thought-provoking . . . crammed with weird and wonderful facts . . . for anyone who delights in linguistics it’s a richly rewarding read’ MAIL ON SUNDAY

***

– A word’s origin doesn’t tell you what it means today
– There are languages that change when your mother-in-law is present
– The language you speak could make you more prone to accidents
– There’s a special part of the brain that produces swear words

Taking us on a mind-boggling journey through the science of language, linguist David Shariatmadari uncovers the truth about what we do with words, exploding nine widely-held myths about language while introducing us to some of the fundamental insights of modern linguistics.


Kyk die video: Hossein Fatemi, دکتر حسين فاطمى ترور ـ فداييان اسلام سرانجام تيرباران شد