This piece does not reflect the official opinion of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, its officers or its individual members. One of the most important functions of this blog is to inform people of current work being done within linguistic anthropology. As part of this, all linguistic anthropologists are invited to discuss current publications including books and articles. Such discussions will not only be available on this blog site but also on the Linganth list, Twitter and (we hope) other forums as well. As I just published a year in review article of linguistic anthropology in 2010, I thought this
Kathryn Woolard, SLA President In response to my original posting on this website, I received the following email message a few days ago from the author of the NYT article, Guy Deutscher, who was concerned that he inadvertently offended linguistic anthropologists. Because Dr. Deutscher asked me to share his message with anyone who might have been offended, I’m posting it here: Dear Prof. Woolard, Yesterday I was sent a link to your blog on the Linguistic Anthropology list, and I was saddened to see that my NYT article has caused offence to linguistic anthropologists. I had no intention whatsoever of
Nice interview with Arika Okrent on her new book “In the Land of Invented Languages” including a good description of the Whorf Hypothesis and an in depth discussion of a variety of invented languages.
Kathryn Woolard, SLA President The question of linguistic relativity is the topic of an August 29, 2010 New York Times magazine article, “You Are What You Speak” Many linguistic anthropologists were surprised by the article’s representation of Benjamin Lee Whorf’s ideas and by the scant reference to the longstanding tradition of research in linguistic anthropology. Most often known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis or the theory of linguistic relativity, the notion that the diversity of linguistic structures affects how people perceive and think about the world has been a canonical topic of American linguistic anthropology. This discipline’s exploration of the