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The unfolding of language : an evolutionary tour of mankind's greatest invention.

Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, 2005.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Language is mankind's greatest invention--except, of course, that it was never invented." So begins linguist Deutscher's investigation into the genesis and evolution of language. If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of "man throw spear," how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced degrees of meaning? Drawing on recent discoveries in  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Einführung
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Guy Deutscher
ISBN: 0805079076 9780805079074 0739465325 9780739465325
OCLC Number: 57311730
Description: 358 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: A castle in the air --
Perpetual motion --
The forces of destruction --
A reef of dead metaphors --
The forces of creation --
Craving for order --
The unfolding of language.
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Abstract:

"Language is mankind's greatest invention--except, of course, that it was never invented." So begins linguist Deutscher's investigation into the genesis and evolution of language. If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of "man throw spear," how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced degrees of meaning? Drawing on recent discoveries in linguistics, Deutscher exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human communication, giving us fresh insight into how language emerges, evolves, and decays. He traces the evolution of linguistic complexity from an early "Me Tarzan" stage to such elaborate single-word constructions as the Turkish sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz ("you are one of those whom we couldn't turn into a town dweller"). He shows how the processes of destruction and creation are continuously in operation, generating new words, new structures, and new meanings.--From publisher description.

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