BookBrowse Reviews Through the Language Glass by Guy Deutscher

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Through the Language Glass

Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages

by Guy Deutscher

Through the Language Glass
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2010, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2011, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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A joyful exploration of the way languages influence culture, thought, and our experience of the world

How does our mother tongue (Why don't we call it a "father tongue," I wonder?) shape what we see and what we don't see; how we orient ourselves in space and time; and the associations we attach to people, animals, ideas and objects? Why do some people describe the sky as black, not blue? And what exactly did Homer mean when he said "wine-dark sea"? Through the Language Glass is Guy Deutscher's exuberant and very excellent adventure among competing ideas, theories and scientific experiments to find the answers.

Deutscher argues that "cultural differences are reflected in language in profound ways," creating "habits of mind that language can instill on the ground level of thought: on memory, attention, perception, and associations." Color perception (blue in particular) is the earthiest and most fascinating of these, something most of us would imagine is universal in all human ...

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