This essay was originally written as part of my PhD comprehensive exams. It was written in response to the prompt: President Barack Obama used the phrase in this sense in an interview published in the November issue of Vanity Fair.
The Trouble With Diversity: Cultural or Neurolinguistic Uniqueness? The weak form of this criticism insists that categories embedded in a given language tell us something about the ideology of its speakers. The most common example comes not from an endangered language, however, but from one spoken by 75, people: Theoretically, Javanese speakers move between these registers based on their social status relative to that of their interlocutor.
But once a language has been thoroughly studied, what necessary investment should anyone have in keeping it alive? Only what if we find its uniqueness morally repugnant?
What if the perspective it preserves is violently misogynistic? What if American segregationists had described themselves as participating in a culture of segregation and had said Once linguists finished cataloguing the humilifics used to identity African-American skin-tone, most everyone except for the segregationists would call for the destruction of that culture, its uniqueness be damned.
The moral imperative to preserve different cultures, I would argue, genuflects both to the pernicious myth of Western superiority and that of the noble savage: Preserving Biological Uniqueness Then I had another thought: What if the uniqueness of a language was more than cultural—what if it was biological?
So I dug around and discovered some recent, but by no means definitive, papers on the topic. Intuitively, it seems probable that at a finergrained level, distinct neuronal networks are involved in processing different languages. However, it is presently unclear if conventional functional neuroimaging techniques have the capability of demonstrating these finergrained distinctions in functional specialization.
The most important contribution of brain imaging studies to the neurobiology of language in bilinguals is the observation of both invariance and plasticity. First, concerning language acquisition, [Language 2] seems to be acquired through the same neural devices responsible for [Language 1] acquisition.
Second, regarding L2 processing, the patterns of brain activation associated with tasks that engage specific aspects of linguistic processing are remarkably consistent among different languages, which share the same brain language system.
These relatively fixed brain patterns, however, are modulated by several factors. Proficiency, age of acquisition, and amount of exposure can affect the cerebral representations of each language, interacting in a complex way with the modalities of language performance.
Future studies disentangling the different language processes should always take into account these potentially important variables. People who acquire second languages earlier or later in life do, but everyone acquires the first one through the same pathways.
In the longue duree of human history, languages change, get absorbed into others and die out all the time. Does that make the linguistic history of humanity a case of endless tragedy? An endless compendium of resources lost to the linguist, and nothing more?
The price of linguistic variety and the expressive range of language is that some languages change, some languages combine, and some cease to exist.
So to get particularly upset about languages disappearing today takes more than just being upset about the phenomenon of languages disappearing.
To be upset by a language disappearing or a species going extinctyou need to offer an argument that a given language in the here and now is disappearing for reasons which are abnormal in the history of linguistic evolution.
Linguistic change in human history often has a lot to do with major dislocations or disjunctures in human society: The present is bigger in scale, but not different in type.Matthew Pearl, author of The Poe Shadow, thinks he can lay to rest all of the rumors about how Edgar Allen Poe died -- rabies, poisoning, etc.
He may have died from a brain tumor. The immediate circumstances of Mr. Poe’s death are not in dispute. I thought about Poe’s short story ‘The Man of the Crowd.’ In the tale a man is sitting in a restaurant in London watching the crowd go by outside noting the different characters and imagining their backstory.
+ free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day? Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. Poetry (the term derives from a variant of the Greek term, poiesis, "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning..
Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry . Edgar Allan Poe began his literary career as a poet, was a merciless critic, and found his greatest success with “The Raven.” Poe defined poetry as “the rhythmical creation of beauty.” He had strong and serious ideas as to what qualified as “poetry,” and what fell short.
- Symbolism in The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe Like many of Edgar Allen Poe's works, 'The Tell-Tale Heart' is full of death and darkness. Poe used many of the real life tragedies he experienced as inspiration for his gothic style of writing.