I don't think we should include the info about Richard Lewis' claims about Zulu words for Green. These are unrelated issues and including it here borders on synthesis. The fact that the hundred eskimo words for snow is no longer considered to be true does not lead to the conclusion that other claims about exotic differences in vocabulary in other languages are also false - those claims must be investigated separately. In short untill a study exposes Lewis' claims about Zulu green as false there is no reason to suppose that they are.
And even then it will have no bearings on the eskimo snow issue. The number of derivable words is limited by the number of components that are available to be combined, and the number of ways in which they can be combined. Suppose the language has words, and suffixes. Indeed the number of compound words that may be derived could be massive. But it cannot be "unlimited" unless you permit the genesis Eskimos have a word for every dating situations entirely new components.
The quotation may stand verbatim although it can be criticised, it cannot be alteredhowever the article should strictly say. How does rearranging sentences create new words? I think part of this article is poorly exploring some complex grammatical concepts.
Really it should be basic.
There should be two parts, the urban legend, and the actual Eskimo words for snow. The second part requires a knowledge of a second language, so I will focus on the first.
The urban legend, has variants with the number of words between 7 and maybe more? This should be mentioned in the lead. Since this legend seems to have a clear origin, we can know what language is meant by Eskimo.
The veracity of the legend can be measured two ways, does an Eskimo language have X number of words for snow, or does an Eskimo language have an unusually large number of words for snow. The very first sentence is bullshit. Inuit does have many words for different kinds of snow which are absent in English and this is recognized by "boreal science". So do some other languages. So is with some other words, so what? I don't know about colors of green in some Mwembe languagebut I suggest you to open a several textile catalogs from different manufacturers, and you will find huhdreds, no joke, English words for red, shades of.
Yes, it is an urban legend that Esquimo have "hundreds" of words for snow. But the article with Eskimos have a word for every dating situations title must focus on the fact and not on a legend which of course deserves place in wikipedia, but in a reasonable degree. I will take some time and write something factual and less sensationalist.
Lom Konkreta talk I have read with interest angry diatribes bashing stupid professors who teach naive students about this exotic Esqimo. The writers fail to recognize that this is but a metaphor for the common phenomenon of terminological specialization. I may compare with my own experience. Long time ago, as a teenager, I've learned an english say "A cat may look at a king". It hit me as completely stupid trivia. Yes, a cat can, but a dog can as well, and a frog, too. A pidgeon can not only look, but even shit at a king!
What is so special in cats? For a week I was going around the school telling everybody how stupid these English are. The same goes here. For some reason Esqimos with their snow struck the chord in people's brains. Google search shows that people really have fun with it, despite protests of select "Esqimo snow purists". I am sure you will like the following excerpt, regardless it being true or parody:. And the number of snow words grows, even in English language. I've seen proposals in "snow science" to borrow missing terms for snow from other languages into English.
It is a well-known fact of science that to investigate a phenomenon in deep, you must have a good term for it. And in articles about ecologies of boreal forests it is much more convenient to use the word qamaniq rather than "depression in the fluffy snow characteristic for dense forests around the base of a tree". And you will be surprized to learn about the importance of qamaniq in ecology.
So, in a way one sentence in the current article is unwittingly correct: English language does have at least the same number of words for snow as Esqimo! But this is not because the "Esqimo snowword counters" are stupid, rather vice versa. Ref 3 in the intro links to this which says on page 56 that there 'are hundreds of types of snow for which Sami words exist'. That's not the same as the intro's phrasing: To me, there seems to be a slight yet important discrepancy. Also, the article cited isn't exactly written in a 'scientific' way.
It's the equivalent of a magazine article. Don't we want something more reliable for the intro? These references repeat exactly the same factoid so thoroughly debunked for Eskimos. Sami languages are also agglutinative, so that words are formed in exactly the same basis as Eskimo-Aleut languages: I believe that this claim should be removed as soon as a good source debunking this claim Eskimos have a word for every dating situations be found.
It is clearly a similar situation to the Eskimo case debunked by Pullum. However, in the mean time, I have changed the Wkipedia article's claim "Sami people have hundreds of words for snow to more closely match the claim made in the cited paper: The last section, about compound words, is tangential.
I don't think it helps this Eskimos have a word for every dating situations. But the link to the foregoing is not made very clear. Although the traditional territory of both groups overlap, the Innu and Inuit are totally separate groups.
The Innu actually speak an Algonquin language related to cree and mi'gmaq which are grouped in a family entirely seperate from the eskimo-aleut languages — Preceding unsigned comment added by I'm a little bit suprised on the quote.
The Handbook of North American Indians is publised since Franz Boas as written an introduction to the Handbook of American Indian languages published in Searching in google books http: It is perfectly conceivable that this variety of ideas, each of which is expressed by a single independent term in English, might be expressed in other languages by derivations from the same term.
Boas has re-used the sentences in his work The Mind of Primitive Man pp.
The article says that "Whorf referred to Eskimo languages having three words for snow. In the reference article Science and Linguistics Whrof wrote. We have the same word for falling snow, snow on the ground, snow packed hard like ice, slushy snow, wind- driven flying snow — whatever the situation may be.
To an Eskimo, this all-inclusive word would be almost unthinkable; he would say that falling snow, slushy snow, and so on, are sensuously and operationally different, different things to contend with; he uses different words for them and for other kinds of snow. Here from the re-print in Readings in social psychology. The first print was in Technology review MIT. Reading this I would say Whorf paraphrases Boas and but he is quite vague about concrete numbers or words, so that he is suggestive of Eskimos having many word Eskimos have a word for every dating situations snow.
I am pulling this out not on a whim, but relying on the WP: The point here is this. The "Eskimo words for snow" story arguably deserves its own article based on well-known and high profile publications by the anthropologist Laura Martin and the linguist Geoff Pullum. These sources are cited in the article and thus establish the notability of the Eskimo words for snow story. In other words, the primary notability of this topic has been established by 1 the many outrageous claims that have been made about Eskimo Inuit words for snow and 2 the subsequent debunking of this story in high-profile publications of these claims by scholars like Laura Martin and Geoff Pullum.
The combination of those two factors is what makes the article notable, and it is also what should inform the shape and content of the article. It should be primarily about the claims made about Eskimo words for snow, and the hoax these claims were subsequently shown to be.
That is why the Sami stuff doesn't belong. It is not notable; its notability has not been shown in the same way as the Eskimo story. Plus by including the Sami stuff in the introduction of the article with an "in contrast" clause, it is given undue weight.
As the Undue weight policy notes, "Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation in reliable sources on the subject. It Eskimos have a word for every dating situations not been mentioned at all in reliable sources on the subject of Eskimo words for snow.
Note, finally, that his is not an issue about citation or reliable sources per se; we can agree that the Sami stuff has been cited alright and is based on reliable sources.
But the grounds for inclusion are lacking; the facts aren't notable and by including them we would be giving undue weight to them.
Eskimo became unacceptable usage for anyone not in elementary school decades ago.