Are down sized, at the same job. It's time we all let go of quaint ideas that have not withstood decades of scientific scrutiny. "The Language Hoax has a sharp-edged title, but a generous and methodical approach to the evidence on both sides of the 'language-shapes-thought' debate. Who are the contemporary linguists he disagrees with? By John H. McWhorter. While he makes some good points, the overall content is lacking with respect to supporting his thesis. Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2015. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. The Language Hoax is a welcome antidote to unqualified Whorfian claims and pronouncements. ISBN: 9780199361588. The supporting players, script, and overall production values are excellent, making THE HOAX an enjoyable, intelligent movie. But it is not born out empirically, except to a minute and limited extent, and there are many cogent arguments against it, especially when one considers languages other than the one being touted as so uniquely different that it makes its speakers see the world differently. It’s quite annoying when you love to travel but don’t know the language of the country you’re visiting. McWhorter has written a book that entirely refutes the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (Whorphianism) which is essentially that how we see the world is determined by the words we use, the language we speak. Book review -- the language hoax The Language Hoax by John McWhorter (2014) One of the annoyances that comes with having some knowledge of a certain field is the exasperation one feels when reading articles in the mainstream media about that field whose authors all too obviously have only a superficial acquaintance with it. That’s why people often use translation apps, and before those, they used to rely on pocketbooks of useful phrases. More By and About This Author. The Language Hoax: why the world looks the same in any language. He says that the determining factor for our differering world-views is culture not the language we think in or express our vie. McWhorter gives two types of argument against "popular Neo-Whorfianism", the view that the language you speak shapes (in some way) your "world view". He evokes intuition, but that made the argument very unscientific and uncredible. I'm kind of "meh" on his conclusions and his interest in some really trivial research*, but I love learn about how different languages do different things. If you are intrigued by that idea and don’t mind re-examining any cherished Sapir-Whorf beliefs you may have this short but spirited and well argued book will be of interest. The Language Hoax John H. McWhorter. Indeed in English we say ‘long time’ but in Spanish ‘mucho tiempo’- ‘distance’, ‘an amount’- what if it is both? Argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language ; Takes a perspective encompassing the world's languages rather than just a few at a time ; Provides a sociopolitical analysis of the issue and its history The Language Hoax is a welcome antidote to unqualified Whorfian claims and pronouncements. I learned in college, from a Linguistics professor very like McWhorter (witty, engaging, knowledgeable, eclectic and with great credentials), that "real" modern linguists reject outright The Whorfian Fallacy, the idea that the language you speak shapes, constructs and constrains your worldview. The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language by John H. McWhorter My rating: 5 of 5 stars McWhorter is always interesting, entertaining, and insightful. To see what your friends thought of this book, McWhorter has written a book that entirely refutes the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (Whorphianism) which is essentially that how we see the world is determined by the words we use, the language we speak. I imagine that some of the things I found delightful about John McWhorter’s, This book, by popular linguist John McWhorter, attacks the Sapir-Whorf theory, a theory that claims that the grammatical and lexical features of languages shape thought and culture. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. You don't have to have read Deutscher to read this, but it might help if you want to make up your own mind--he does represent Deutscher's points accurately. He is also careful to point out that Neo-Whorfian research actually has uncovered some evidence for extremely weak versions of the Sa. 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