Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle

Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle

Paperback

By (author) Daniel Everett

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  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 21mm | 278g
  • Publication date: 6 August 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846680409
  • ISBN 13: 9781846680403
  • Illustrations note: 8 page colour plate section
  • Sales rank: 39,233

Product description

Although Daniel Everett was a missionary, far from converting the Pirahas, 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. He describes how he began to realise that his discoveries about the Piraha 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. Adventure, personal enlightenment and the makings of a scientific revolution proceed together in this vivid, funny and moving book.

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Author information

Daniel Everett was born in California. He lived for many years in the Amazon jungle and conducted research on over a dozen indigenous languages of Brazil. He has published on sound structure, grammar, meaning, culture and language. He has been the subject of endless controversy in academic circles and is currently Professor of Linguistics at Illinois State University.

Review quote

Destined to become a classic -- David Papineau The Independent Everett writes simply and persuasively about language ... a fascinating thesis ... his courage and conviction should give linguists pause for thought -- Andrew Anthony Guardian A remarkable book. It is written with an immediacy even a Piraha might envy, and its conjunction of physical and intellectual adventure is irresistible -- John Carey Sunday Times This is 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. -- Ben Macintyre The Times Fascinating The Times "Going native" has seldom led to a book as challenging and appealing as this memoir -- Boyd Tonkin Independent Thorough, thought-provoking ... vivid details are combined with broader questions -- Anita Sethi Independent on Sunday Quite extraordinary Sunday Tribune