The language of brazil

What language do Brazilian speak?


1381941182Pirahã people on the Maici River in Amazonas, Brazil.

Photo courtesy of Tony Muricy.

The Pirahã are an indigenous people, numbering around 700, living along the banks of the Maici River in the jungle of northwest Brazil. Their language, also called Pirahã, is so unusual in so many ways that it was profiled in 2007 in a 12, 000-word piece in the New Yorker by John Colapinto, who wrote:

Unrelated to any other extant tongue, and based on just eight consonants and three vowels, Pirahã has one of the simplest sound systems known. Yet it possesses such a complex array of tones, stresses, and syllable lengths that its speakers can dispense with their vowels and consonants altogether and sing, hum, or whistle conversations.

Among Pirahã's many peculiarities is an almost complete lack of numeracy, an extremely rare linguistic trait of which there are only a few documented cases. The language contains no words at all for discrete numbers and only three that approximate some notion of quantity—hói, a "small size or amount, " hoí, a "somewhat larger size or amount, " and baágiso, which can mean either to "cause to come together" or "a bunch."

With no way to express exact integers, the obvious question is: How do the Pirahã count? More pragmatically, how do they ask for two of something instead of just one? The answer—according to some of the more recent research on anumeracy, published by anthropological linguist Caleb Everett in the journal Cognitive Science—suggests, almost inconceivably, that they don't.

Everett, the son of Christian missionaries turned linguists, lived on and off with the Pirahã during his early childhood. His parents, he told me, speak Pirahã as fluently as any Westerners ever have, though for a non-native speaker to master the language is a near impossibility. A couple of years ago, Everett (whose father was featured in the New Yorker piece) traveled back to the Pirahã villages to run a few very simple experiments.



Share this article





Related Posts


Cheap Brazilian
Cheap Brazilian

Latest Posts
Round trip ticket to Brazil
Round trip ticket…
I came across a low fare ticket to Brazil…
Conde Nast Best Beach Resorts
Conde Nast Best…
Palm Beach has done it again. Conde Nast…
Lisbon Tourist information
Lisbon Tourist…
Getting around the city If you don t…
Algarve tourist attractions
Algarve tourist…
Although the bridge itself is not Roman…
Best Time to Visit Lisbon
Best Time to…
How about: Lisbon Intro > Main…
Search
Featured posts
  • What language does Portugal speak?
  • What language they speak in Brazil?
  • Cheap Brazilian
  • Brazilian flights
  • English language in Brazil
  • Brazil domestic Airlines
  • Does US citizens need visa for Brazil
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil Language
  • Portugal What to see
Copyright © 2017 l www.brazilianportuguesetranslatorinsandiego.info. All rights reserved.