Lingusitics Professor & Writer
Aired: Wednesday 5.13.09 - 10:00-11:00 PM
Listen to the archived program...
Daniel Leonard Everett currently serves as Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. He previously taught at the University of Manchester and is former Chair of the Linguistics Department of the University of Pittsburgh.
Everett is best known for his study of the Amazon Basin's Pirahã people and their language. He spent many years living with and studying the aboriginal Piraha people of Brazil. Their language "defies all existing linguistic theories" and "reflects a way of life that evades contemporary understanding." His experiences over the next 30 years broke up his family, put him at odds with the linguistic establishment, turned him into an atheist.
Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle is his fascinating and candid account with of life with the Piraha.