Daniel L. Everett – Reading Highly Recommended

Perhaps in our vanity only have we been made in the “image of God”; in reality, a glance at language as a cultural behavior involving agreement, distribution, invention, perception, and uptake leads one to at least consider the possibility that Homo sapiens sapiens is as wild a species as any but with a capacious brain perhaps blessed with memory and cursed with imagination, not that one would ever wish to give up imagination.

Author’s Website: Dan Everett Books

BackChannel Book Recommendations: Don’t Sleep, There Are SnakesLanguage: The Cultural Tool.

Wikipedia: “Daniel Everett”.

I refer to Everett’s books frequently to buttress three ideas:

  1. we’re as natural a species as any other on the planet and should take that into account in our own estimation of ourselves and in consideration of the way need to approach and work with one another across time;
  2. Cultures and their languages may be inseparable by way of invention and cultural suspension — i.e., we humans really do live in, with, and through language — and as such each language comprises a way of being within an earthbound and great human library: we should not wish to be all English or in other medium monolingual but rather strive to co-evolve separable language cultures and their possibilities, for we don’t know as a species what we may need or when.
  3. To let the Chomskyites know that I’d rather tout a humble and methodical linguist and his hard-earned findings than the assumptive universalist agenda of a gentleman who one day stepped up on a stage and found himself the darling of an idealistic cohort energized by romantic sentiment and nonplussed by evidence contrary to its ambition and will.

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7 thoughts on “Daniel L. Everett – Reading Highly Recommended”

  1. I have nothing but admiration for Dan Everett. His body of work was introduced to me by a PhD who has steadily sent books and reading my way. Greater understanding of cultural linguistic tools is the gift which this man brings to the table. Agree with you regarding Noam Chomsky. His work in the field of linguistics cannot be denied. But some of the Chomskyites are like the monkey who grasps for a peanut in the base of a narrow bottle, refusing to loosen their grip to remove their entrapped fist. Mr. Everett has cultivated his own field of peanuts. smile



  2. Everett has established a new benchmark, and he’s done it without getting caught up or mixed up in politics. In that regard, I feel shaky touting his name and work here, and yet many facets of conflict, from warrior self-concept to clerical religious precepts, live essentially in language and, specifically, what the language imbibed (and its “social grammar”) allows, enables, overlooks, or perceives.


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