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The atoms of language

Author: Mark C Baker
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, ©2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The Navajo Code Talkers are one of the great stories of World War II. Because the Japanese forces were intercepting and deciphering American communications, they knew their enemy's battle plans and were able to slow the Allied advance across the Pacific. But the Code Talkers brought with them a cipher the Japanese couldn't crack. They simply translated orders and reports from English into Navajo for radio  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Baker, Mark C.
Atoms of language.
New York : Basic Books, ©2001
(OCoLC)606589075
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mark C Baker
ISBN: 0465005217 9780465005215 0465005225 9780465005222
OCLC Number: 47023551
Description: xi, 276 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Contents: The Code Talker Paradox --
The Discovery of Atoms --
Samples Versus Recipes --
Baking a Polysynthetic Language --
Alloys and Compounds --
Toward a Periodic Table of Languages --
Why Parameters?
Responsibility: Mark C. Baker.
More information:

Abstract:

"The Navajo Code Talkers are one of the great stories of World War II. Because the Japanese forces were intercepting and deciphering American communications, they knew their enemy's battle plans and were able to slow the Allied advance across the Pacific. But the Code Talkers brought with them a cipher the Japanese couldn't crack. They simply translated orders and reports from English into Navajo for radio transmission, and back into English at the other end. This method did more than provide secure communication. In a situation where every second counted, the Code Talkers could translate much more quickly than any expert in standard codes." "With this episode, linguist Mark Baker sets off on a fascinating exploration of one of the great mysteries of language: are all languages fundamentally the same, or are they fundamentally different? If they're all the same, why was Navajo so baffling to the Japanese cryptographers? If they're all different, why were the Code Talkers able to translate back and forth so easily - and why are small children able to learn whatever language they grow up hearing? From Zapotec to Welsh, from French to the unique Carib tongue called Hixkaryana, Baker surveys the incredible diversity of the world's languages to show how linguists are closing in on a key question: what is the true nature of language differences?"--Jacket.

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