|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,
>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.