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A bold and provocative study that presents language not as an innate component of the brain--as most linguists argue--but as a tool unique to each culture world-wide, and as essential to human society as fire. For years the prevailing opinion among academics has been that language is embedded in our genes. Daniel Everett argues that, like other tools, language was invented by humans and can be reinvented or lost, and he makes clear how this tool is influenced by and expresses the variety of human societies and experiences. Combining anthropology, linguistics, psychology, and his own pioneering--and adventurous--research with the Amazonian Piraha, Everett gives us an unprecedented elucidation of this society-defined nature of language. In doing so, he offers us a new understanding of our selves.
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