Nathanael Green's Blog

An advertising copywriter, novelist, and freelance writer's brain goo.

Posts Tagged ‘Arapaho

Languages Deader (Or Dyinger) Than Latin

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Alfred the Great

Alfred the Great: Proud to know his language lived on ... sort of.

Latin’s not a dead language … not really. It never completely disappeared, but morphed into a bunch of other languages like Italian and Romanian. Like Anglo-Saxon getting sculpted over the centuries to give us English. And the process is easy to see – think about Shakespeare’s English and you can see how much change can occur in a measly five hundred years.

But there are a lot of languages deader than Latin. (“Deader?” Yeah, check out this post on absolutes.) And they’re dying faster than ever before. According to this article, approximately 90% of the world’s 7,000 languages will die by the end of this century.

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Written by Nathanael Green

November 3, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Does Language Shape Reality?

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Is reality the same for everyone?

Some people think the language you speak may influence how you view the world. It may inform your prejudices, your beliefs and how you relate to everything around you.

What if English didn't have a word for "time?"

What if English didn't have a word for "time?"

For instance, what if your language had no concepts of time? How different would your world-view be? Kind of nice to think you could never be late for work, isn’t it?

This seemingly timeless aspect of one language is precisely what prompted a linguist studying the Hopi language to propose the idea of linguistic relativity. Also known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, linguistic relativity says that because we use language to define our world, our world-view is defined by our language.

What’s that really mean?

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Written by Nathanael Green

July 13, 2009 at 8:34 pm