Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our - download pdf or read online

By Derek Bickerton

Bastard Tongues is an exhilarating, firsthand tale of medical discovery in a space of analysis with reference to the guts of what it capacity to be human—what language is, the way it works, and the way it passes from iteration to iteration, even the place old injuries have made basic transmission virtually very unlikely. the tale specializes in languages so low within the pecking order that many folks don’t regard them as languages at all—Creole languages spoken via descendants of slaves and indentured workers in plantation colonies everywhere in the world. The tale is advised through Derek Bickerton, who has spent greater than thirty years getting to know those languages on 4 continents and constructing a arguable concept that explains why they're so just like each other. a broadcast novelist, Bickerton (once defined as “part student, half swashbuckling guy of action”) doesn't current his findings within the traditional dry educational demeanour. in its place, you develop into a spouse on his trip of discovery. You study issues as he discovered them, proportion his disappointments and triumphs, discover the unique locales the place he labored, and meet the colourful characters he encountered alongside the way in which. the result's a distinct combination of memoir, travelogue, heritage, and linguistics primer, beautiful to a person who has ever puzzled how languages develop or what it’s wish to seek the realm for brand spanking new wisdom.

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Additional resources for Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World's Lowliest Languages

Sample text

As Creoles. go, Palenquero wasn't a really deep Creole; that's to say it wasn't among those Creoles that differ most radically from COLOMBIA BEFORE COCAINE 56 their related European language. The furthest from Spanish it gets is in things like Ane ba kamino ane. They go way they. " The Spanish is Se fueron par su camino. But there aren't any of the un-European features like serial verbs or verb-fronting that we'll meet in later chapters. That's hardly sur­ prising. Palenquero and Spanish have been in contact for the bet­ ter part of four hundred years, and, for all their poverty and poor transportation links, its speakers have lived within thirty miles of a major city all that time, so the surprising thing is that it is still, so very obviously, a Creole language.

If he would give me leave on full pay for the six-month balance of my contract, I would withdraw my support from the Craig faction and drop all claims against the uni­ versity. He bought the deaL The next day the department faculty had scheduled a one-day strike. I was in a quandary. It would be a couple of days before I got anything in writing, but I had promised tostop supporting Craig, and the university would surely jump at any reason to renege on the deaL On the other hand I was a lifelong union man.

He didn't like that, but it got his attention. I pointed out that the university for which he was responsible was already in a mess and that the last thing he needed was more bad publicity. However, there was a simple solution. If he would give me leave on full pay for the six-month balance of my contract, I would withdraw my support from the Craig faction and drop all claims against the uni­ versity. He bought the deaL The next day the department faculty had scheduled a one-day strike. I was in a quandary.

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