Some quotes about language

UG [universal grammar] may be regarded as a characterization of the genetically determined language faculty. One may think of this faculty as a ‘language acquisition device,’ an innate component of the human mind that yields a particular language through interaction with present experience, a device that converts experience into a system of knowledge attained: knowledge of one or another language. Noam Chomsky


Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about. Benjamin Lee Whorf


Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


That woman speaks eight languages and can’t say no in any of them. Dorothy Parker


A language is a dialect with an army and navy. Anonymous


A different language is a different vision of life.  Federico Fellini


Learn a new language and get a new soul.  Czech Proverb


Male supremacy is fused into the language, so that every sentence both heralds and affirms it. Andrea Dworkin


Language is a form of human reason, which has its internal logic of which man knows nothing. Claude Levi-Strauss


We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. Oscar Wilde


The three-year-old, then, is a grammatical genius – master of most constructions, obeying rules far more often than flouting them, respecting language universals, erring in sensible, adult-like ways, and avoiding many kinds of errors altogether. Steven Pinker


Every living language, like the perspiring bodies of living creatures, is in perpetual motion and alteration; some words go off, and become obsolete; others are taken in, and by degrees grow into common use; or the same word is inverted to a new sense or notion, which in tract of time makes an observable change in the air and features of a language, as age makes in the lines and mien of a face. Richard Bentley


Language is an archaeological vehicle … the language we speak is a whole palimpsest of human effort and history. Russell Hoban


I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse.  King Charles V



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