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The Unfolding Of Language by [Deutscher, Guy]

The Unfolding Of Language Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 368 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
Language: English

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Product description

From Booklist

The linguistic chain that connects the boasts of an ancient Sumerian monarch to the jests of Groucho Marx is long and convoluted, but Deutscher retraces it, fascinating link by fascinating link, identifying the dynamic processes that have continuously transformed and renewed the world's diverse languages. Even when delving deeply into ancient manuscripts and temple engravings, Deutscher interprets every linguistic mutation as the consequence of evolutionary forces still observable in today's living languages. Readers see in linguistic fossils from Mesopotamia traces of the same conversion of living metaphor into conceptual lattice still taking place in modern English, German, and Indonesian. What Deutscher demonstrates most clearly is how linguistic structures that look like the product of deliberate artifice can emerge from entirely natural processes. Predictably, when he probes the linguistic developments before the advent of writing, the author must frequently substitute his own speculations for solid evidence. Entailing just enough technical detail to tempt readers into professional sources (listed at the book's conclusion), this introduction to fundamental linguistic principles opens to nonspecialists a rich theoretical vista. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"'Highly original... Brilliant... How did...regular and complex languages come to exist? Deutscher's chosen task is to unravel [a] paradox, and he does so brilliantly, witholding the secret with great skill. If I told you how it works, you wouldn't buy the book. Both clever and convincing... this book will stretch your mind' Independent on Sunday"

"'He really ought to be anyone who persists in complaining that the English language is going to the dogs...Interesting and substantial' Sunday Telegraph"

"'Powerful and thrilling' Spectator"

"'I was enthralled by Guy Deutscher's The Unfolding of Language, a history of how words came to take the forms they do, and therefore a history of the forms of the human mind.'" (A.S. Byatt in the Guardian 'Books of the Year)

"Fascinating... Any curious reader...will find something worth knowing in The Unfolding of Language'" (Boston Globe)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4251 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (20 March 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003D87PPY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,512 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3.6 out of 5 stars
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26 March 2016
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27 February 2017
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.5 out of 5 stars 104 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsGood reading
27 June 2017 - Published on
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4 people found this helpful.
Jean-Michel. Gabet
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Maxwell A. Helfgott
5.0 out of 5 starsHow did language evolve: a modest proposal.
5 July 2018 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
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5.0 out of 5 starsPhenomenal book written with incredible wit,humor, erudition and intelligence
3 May 2015 - Published on
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A. Panda
5.0 out of 5 starsIs language being created and destroyed in a constant cycle?
21 May 2009 - Published on
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