- Paperback: 246 pages
- Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (July 9, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226685349
- ISBN-13: 978-0226685342
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,100,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax and Other Irreverent Essays on the Study of Language 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
The 23 entertaining essays collected here originally appeared as columns in a linguistics journal between 1983 and 1989. Slight revisions have been made, and introductory and explanatory notes added. Although some of the material here is a sometimes gossipy, sometimes technical insider's view of the linguistics profession, most of it is a highly interesting and enlightening discussion of a subject that is largely a mystery to most people. However, it is also "perhaps the only subject that regularly gets research funding from agencies in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences," and therefore has cross-disciplinary pertinence. The title essay refers to Whorf's (according to the author, incorrect) work on the Eskimo lexicon. For public as well as academic libraries.
- Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Amazon.com editorial review for this book has it right: Geoffrey Pullum wrote an editorial column (titled "Topic.... Column") for seven years for the journal "Natural Language and Linguistic Theory" starting in the early 1980s. Here, we are treated to 23 of Pullum's 28 editorials for NLLT over those seven years, and we get his perspective on the field of linguistics, how linguists "work", and other issues that caught Pullum's fancy, e.g. libel laws in Britain versus the United States (definitely should be on one's "must read" list!), how linguistics should be taught, where linguistics should be placed as a discipline in academia, issues re publishing in journals in academia, and, of course, issues re linguistics theories. Some of the material that dives headlong into linguistics theory can be a bit disorienting, but I enjoyed reading this book. I have a deep curiosity about linguistics, which is why I decided to read the entire work, and not just the article on Eskimos' words for snow. It wasn't spectacular or mind-bending, but, as I said, I enjoy learning about linguistics, and I got to see it from the perspective of an insider. John V. Karavitis, John Karavitis, Karavitis.
I loved the Chomsky vs. the Vulcan thing :)
The linguistic concepts were a bit beyond me, but i loved the article about how linguistic journals correct (incorrectly) the grammar *of linguists*. And the English First article really shows the idiocity and lack of lingustic understanding among the general public. I'm starting to wonder if every academic discipline is misunderstood by the faceless "general public" ... and if so how I can reconcile this with my professed belief in the "inherent worth and dignity of every person."
Anyways, other interested pieces included a fictious piece where each division on campus is vying for the linguistics department to be moved under their jurisdiction, the eskimo vocabulary hoax piece of course, and just the overall tone and stuff. I highly recommend this if you like linguistics, or even if you don't like linguistics but like academic books with a sense of humor ;)
And if you want to know whether one of the Eskimo languages has more words for snow than, say, English, here's the definitive and surprising answer.