[Lingtyp] Lingtyp Digest, Vol 54, Issue 25

Martin Haspelmath haspelmath at shh.mpg.de
Sun Mar 31 17:26:04 UTC 2019

This does indeed sound disquieting.

I have long been worried by the link between human linguistic diversity 
and biological diversity that some people are drawing (cf. this old 
comment on a 2012 PNAS paper that talks about "biocultural diversity": 

But it is probably also true that some of the marginalized indigenous 
communities participate in this romanticization, so it's a very complex 


On 31.03.19 16:46, David Beck wrote:
> I guess my disquiet stems from this (from the synopsis)
> "Taking Martin deep into the jungle, a speaker reveals that Zikril is the language of all beings who live there, the animals and birds as well as man. And, in a scene that skillfully mixes image and sound, we get a spooky sense of birds responding as Zikril is spoken, setting the stage for more magic realism to come.”
> Romanticizing is a form of dehumanization. It makes for a good story, but mapped onto the lives of actual communities, it exoticizes indigenous people and makes them not really seem like people. There are real world reasons to work with these communities.
> I’ll probably go see the movie, though.
> David
>> On Mar 30, 2019, at 10:00 AM, lingtyp-request at listserv.linguistlist.org wrote:
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>>    1. Re: Lingtyp Digest, Vol 54, Issue 24 (David Beck)
>>    2. Re: Lingtyp Digest, Vol 54, Issue 24 (Joo Ian)
>>    3. Re: Lingtyp Digest, Vol 54, Issue 24 (George Moroz)
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2019 10:27:35 -0600
>> From: David Beck <dbeck at ualberta.ca>
>> To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
>> Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Lingtyp Digest, Vol 54, Issue 24
>> Message-ID: <DB1B3DBD-7B1B-4D53-872D-7C21A1FB6968 at ualberta.ca>
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>> I haven’t seen the movie, which may be very entertaining, but it isn’t about a real language.  The synopsis here
>> https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-i-dream-another-language-review-20170803-story.html <https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-i-dream-another-language-review-20170803-story.html>
>> makes it sound like fun, but not much like reality. I suppose if Avatar is inspirational for ecologists, something like this could be inspiring for linguists.
>> Just saying.
>> David

Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10	
D-07745 Jena
Leipzig University
Institut fuer Anglistik
IPF 141199
D-04081 Leipzig

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