Señor Grumblecakes (jervo) wrote,
Señor Grumblecakes

If you have any passing fancy in language, you may be interested in this article about the Pirahã, and how incredibly strange and unique their language is.  (Here's a brief audio sample, which I desperately want to sample and compose around.)  As with a lot of recent links around here, this is via kottke. [Bonus points - I'm pretty sure the author of the New Yorker piece is the same John Colapinto that sang in the Rolling Stone Holiday Party band that I was a part of a few years ago (and where, among other things, I got dissed by Paul Schaffer).

EDIT - in case you're not yet convinved that this is interesting, here's Kottke's summary:

Everett's position on Piraha linguistics is controversial because he believes their language doesn't adhere to Noam Chomsky's idea of universal grammar. "The Piraha, Everett wrote, have no numbers, no fixed color terms, no perfect tense, no deep memory, no tradition of art or drawing, and no words for 'all,' 'each,' 'every,' 'most,' or 'few' -- terms of quantification believed by some linguists to be among the common building blocks of human cognition."

I've got a serious case of the Fridays. I am dumbstruck that it is barely 3:15pm. Today has been very long and, with the exception of my linguistic perusing, incredibly dull.


  • Farewell, LJ

    So I guess I'm retiring this blog. Part of me feels like I need to make some sort of eulogy or something; part of me just wants to move on already.…

  • Catching up

    The first sentence of this post was "Finally, some breathing room," and then as I was in the middle of the second sentence I got handed…

  • (no subject)

    Kinda hard to imagine Thomas Pynchon (and not, say, Tom Robbins) writing this paragraph, but there it is on p. 99 of "Inherent Vice":…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded