Today, we’re taking you to Brazil to know all that you must about the Piraha language, pronounced as pee-da-ha, spoken by the Piraha tribe. The Piraha love their culture and language so much that they refuse to learn any other language. They believe other languages are quite inferior to theirs!
Linguists think Piraha is a fascinating language. Why? Because it’s pretty abstract. There are neither any words for numbers, colors, tense nor equals of the English words ‘each,’ ‘all,’ ‘most,’ and ‘few’.
One researcher who visited the tribe in the Amazonian jungle said the parents there don’t know how many children they have! Remember there’s no concept of numbers in the Piraha language?
As mentioned above, they don’t have words for colors. For red, they say ‘blood’! Names of colors depend on the general color of certain objects.
Moreover, the language lacks recursion, a basic feature of most spoken languages. Recursion is the process by which we insert several phrases or thoughts into one sentence; a usually long sentence. For example, can you correctly join “Belle is walking down the street” and “Belle has an umbrella”? Belle is walking down the street with an umbrella. The Piraha language doesn’t do this.
That’s the beauty of language. You adopt somebody else’s or make one of your own. Who’s to say whether your new language is right or wrong?
Here’s your assignment for the week: Invent a new language. Write down its grammar rules – or don’t have any, it’s your wish. Teach it to your friends and family and spread it to the world!