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Re: Sapir-WhorFreakiness

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Saturday, August 28, 2004, 18:25
In a message dated 8/26/2004 9:15:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
butsuri@MYREALBOX.COM writes:

>A message from Everett, about his experience with the Pirahã, and the >skipticism that's greeted some of his reports, on Language Log today:
Thanks for that. I think the most interesting part is: "I do believe, however, that many analyses of number and grammar in the literature, on similarly primitive societies (in some technological sense of primitive) are likely 'overanalyzed', e.g. that there are likely to be other languages without embedding, where juxtaposition has been taken to be embedding without much thought given to the matter." I had been assuming that either (a) Piraha, lacking embedding, is weird and essentially unique, or else (b) Everett is mistaken. The third possibility (that lack of embedding occurs elsewhere but hasn't been described because everyone assumes there must be embedding) is most interesting. Doug