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Book review: Through the Language Glass, by Guy Deutscher.

Guy Deutscher is the author of one of the most stimulating books on language, The Unfolding of Language. That was about the origin of language, but here Deutscher deals with an idea that is now discounted by most linguistics but which was at one time influential. This is the theory that languages shape the mentality of the people who speak them and may even make it impossible for their speakers to think certain thoughts. It became prominent in the 1930s thanks to two American linguists, Benjamin Lee Whorf and Edward Sapir. Though it is no longer taken seriously by most linguists today, Deutscher thinks that it contains a grain of truth, though not in the way it was first proposed. [more]

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