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p. 605. In praise of diversitylocked

  • P. H. Matthews

Abstract

‘In praise of diversity’ points out that, though in the continents of the Old World, language distribution has remained unchanged for 500 years, in the three continents where indigenous languages have been swamped by ones originally from western Europe surviving languages may soon disappear. Many languages have evolved in ways that seem exotic, though this judgement is entirely relative. Languages vary as to their treatment of categories such as singular/plural or seen/invisible and how they describe geographical positions in space. Where languages draw distinctions that appear to predispose speakers to think differently, we must be careful not to infer ways of thinking or perceiving from linguistic evidence alone.

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