By Michael Erard

ISBN-10: 1451628269

ISBN-13: 9781451628265

In Babel No More, Michael Erard, “a monolingual with benefits,” units out on a quest to satisfy language superlearners and make experience in their psychological powers. at the manner he uncovers the secrets and techniques of old figures just like the nineteenth-century Italian cardinal Joseph Mezzofanti, who used to be acknowledged to talk seventy-two languages, in addition to these of dwelling language-superlearners comparable to Alexander Arguelles, a modern day polyglot who is familiar with dozens of languages and indicates Erard the methods of the exchange to offer him a gloomy glimpse into the lifetime of obsessive language acquisition.

With his bold exam of what language is, the place it lives within the mind, and the cultural implications of polyglots’ goals, Erard explores the higher limits of our skill to profit and use languages and illuminates the highbrow strength in all people. How do a little humans break out the curse of Babel—and what may the gods have demanded of them in go back?

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In Babel not more, Michael Erard, “a monolingual with benefits,” units out on a quest to satisfy language superlearners and make experience in their psychological powers. at the means he uncovers the secrets and techniques of old figures just like the nineteenth-century Italian cardinal Joseph Mezzofanti, who used to be acknowledged to talk seventy-two languages, in addition to these of residing language-superlearners resembling Alexander Arguelles, a modern day polyglot who understands dozens of languages and exhibits Erard the methods of the exchange to provide him a gloomy glimpse into the lifetime of obsessive language acquisition.

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Additional info for Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners

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3) a. John i expects {*he/*himi/himJ/himself/PRO} to win. b. John i expects that {hei/heJ/*him/*himself/*PRO} will win. (4) a. [s John expects [s to win]] governing category b. [s John expects that [s AGR will win]] governing category Himself is an anaphor, and must therefore be bound in its governing category. It is unacceptable in structure (4b), the finite clause, since there is no possible antecedent for it in its governing category, the lower S. In struc­ ture (4a), however, himself can be bound by the noun John, which is in its governing category, and it is therefore allowed by Binding Principle A.

Bopphai Boppha 'Boppha i b. *Bopphai Boppha teivei]. TV 'Boppha i khәәñ klәi niw knoŋ teivei]. ' In (12a) the minimal category containing ә and its governor — the verb khәәñ 'see' — is the entire sentence. Khmer has no AGR that can serve as Subject, so all Subjects must be syntactic subjects as defined in (9). Therefore in (12a) the Subject is the subject of the sentence — Boppha. By definition of governing category in (8), the entire sentence is the domain in which klә must find an antecedent.

Is kaha da otideš. Want-3PL-PAST b. ' Edin den šte iskat da otideš. ' This is not totally invariable, however: at least in Bulgarian and Macedo­ nian there do exist sentences like (8), where the da clause contains a formal tense other than present (here past perfect (perfective)). But past tense in this type of clause means irrealis rather than past time; it is semantically more related to modality than to real tense. (8) Ne sispomnih da bjah otišla. ' To summarize the basic facts as presented so far, what we are looking at is a construction that is functionally similar to familiar infinitives, but contains a verb marked marginally for tense-aspect and very clearly and meaning­ fully for person-number agreement.

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Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard


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