Having a language is like having access

26 08 2009

to a very large canvas and to hundreds or even thousands of colors. But the canvas and the colors come from the past. They are hand-me-downs. As we learn to use them, we find out that those around us have strong ideas about what can be drawn, in which proportions, in what combinations, and for what purposes. As any artist knows, there is an ethics of drawing and coloring as well as a market that will react sometimes capriciously, but many times quite predictably to any individual attempts to place a mark in the history or representation or simply readjust the proportions of certain spaces at the margins … Just like art-works, our linguistic products are constantly evaluated, recycled or discarded.

Alessandro Duranti (1997) Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 334.

“used crayons” by chromatofobe @ Flickr.com


Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: