Although Daniel Everett was a missionary, far from converting the Pirahãs, they converted him. He shows the slow, meticulous steps by which he gradually mastered their language and his gradual realisation that its unusual nature closely reflected its speakers' startlingly original perceptions of the world.
Everett describes how he began to realise that his discoveries about the Pirahã language opened up a new way of understanding how language works in our minds and in our lives, and that this way was utterly at odds with Noam Chomsky's universally accepted linguistic theories. The perils of passionate academic opposition were then swiftly conjoined to those of the Amazon in a debate whose outcome has yet to be won. Everett's views are most recently discussed in Tom Wolfe's bestselling The Kingdom of Speech.
Adventure, personal enlightenment and the makings of a scientific revolution proceed together in this vivid, funny and moving book.
Destined to become a classic David Papineau The Independent
Daniel Everett, geboren 1951 in Kalifornien, ist Professor für Linguistik an der Illinois State University. 1977 reiste er zum ersten Mal als Missionar zu den Pirahã in das brasilianische Amazonasgebiet, widmete sich jedoch bald nur noch der Erforschung ihrer Sprache und Kultur.