Pilgrim in the Palace of Words: A Journey Through the 6,000 Languages of Earth

By Glenn Dixon

Pilgrim within the Palace of Words is set language, concerning the phrases that splash and chatter throughout our tongues. a few six thousand languages are nonetheless spoken on the earth, and writer Glenn Dixon – a professional is socio-linguistics and a tireless adventurer – travels to the Earth's 4 corners to discover the way in which those languages create and mold societies.

As one thinker stated, languages are homes of Being. After doing graduate paintings in linguistics, Dixon desired to stopover at those homes or "palaces" himself – to walk alongside their sidewalks, knock on their doorways, and peek of their home windows. He desired to see what they have been hiding of their basements ... no matter if it intended somewhat of hassle. sometimes, lots of hassle! sign up for him on his experience as, with wit and humour, he works towards a true knowing of ways and why we speak the best way we do within the international Village.

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It’s a type of chicken-and-egg factor. We’re immersed from the very starting in our culture’s units of symbols — its ideals, its methods of seeing and encoding the area. It’s the water we swim in. We can’t break out it since it precedes us, envelops us. It’s the realm we’re born into it doesn't matter what type of psychological gymnastics we strive to prevent it. the area has already been outlined for us via our language and during the entire different semiotic structures of our tradition. Such symbols could switch over the years, definitely, yet we’re particularly inseparable from them. So what occurs to the individual who’s stuck among cultures, or 3, or 4? That’s the place issues relatively get attention-grabbing. i guess the post-stucturalists might say we’re making arbitrary divisions back. anyone exists inside an international, now not a global made from cultures yet of a unmarried mixed tradition — one with televisions and totem poles, one the place you fish for Salmon and surf the net. this can be lifestyles within the twenty-first century, the area that James lives in. a protracted fjord separates the 2 major islands of the Queen Charlottes. It’s known as Skidegate Inlet, and I’d come the following to head sea kayaking, skimming over the spirit global in a Haida canoe. So i discovered myself up at sunrise one morning, status on the dock with fog striking over the inlet. Out within the water i may listen a small skiff puttering into shore to select me up. A tall guy, his ft in gumboots, jumped out to greet me. This used to be Patrick. His lengthy black hair used to be tied in ponytail, and he spoke with a French-Canadian accessory. He wasn’t Haida. Patrick grew to become out to be, of all issues, Mohawk. He used to be taking me to a small island owned via one other guy, his buddy and mentor, Louie Elks. Louie, who used to be going to be my kayaking advisor, wasn’t Haida, both. He used to be Métis, half Cree and half I wasn’t convinced what, yet i assumed it would be Italian. So right here i used to be in Haida Gwaii, land of the Haida, approximately to move on a kayaking journey with local courses. One used to be Cree and the opposite used to be Mohawk. Now that appeared bizarre. yet issues don’t consistently healthy into the neat conceptual packing containers we construct for ourselves. What precisely does it suggest to be Haida? The solutions aren’t constantly so hassle-free. “How many days you staying at Louie’s position? ” Patrick requested as we set out around the inlet. “Three days. ” Patrick nodded. a guy of few phrases, he became again to the tiny outboard motor and puttered out to a series of 3 tiny islands. Louie Elks lived at the heart one. The island was once might be 400 metres from side to part. you'll stroll round it in a few minutes. Patrick urged the boat round the fringe of the island and there, at the little seashore, was once Louie. He was once a few 3rd of a metre shorter than Patrick, yet he additionally had his lengthy hair tied again in a ponytail. Louie waved to me from the seashore after which helped to drag the boat in. I couldn’t support yet see that Louie was once donning a Che Guevara T-shirt, and whilst I commented on it, his face lit up in a tremendous grin. “Did you notice The motorbike Diaries? ” he requested.

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