'An astonishing book: a work of exploration, into the most distant place and language, but also a revelation of the way language is shaped by thought and circumstance' The Times
Although Daniel Everett was a missionary, far from converting the Pirahãs, they converted him. He shows the slow, meticulous steps by which he gradually mastered their language and his gradual realisation that its unusual nature closely reflected its speakers' startlingly original perceptions of the world.
Everett describes how he began to realise that his discoveries about the Pirahã language opened up a new way of understanding how language works in our minds and in our lives, and that this way was utterly at odds with Noam Chomsky's universally accepted linguistic theories. The perils of passionate academic opposition were then swiftly conjoined to those of the Amazon in a debate whose outcome has yet to be won. Everett's views are most recently discussed in Tom Wolfe's bestselling The Kingdom of Speech.
Adventure, personal enlightenment and the makings of a scientific revolution proceed together in this vivid, funny and moving book.
Destined to become a classic David Papineau The Independent
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