A Linguist livetweets Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai



I recently read The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt, and it was linguistically delightful. I’ve collected my highlights into a storify, but the best thing I learned from this book was that Arabic has a very obscure word يَيَى “yayaya” meaning “to write the letter ya beautifully” (and I mean, to be fair, ي is a really pretty letter). It reminds me of when I learned that Yup’ik has a word for people who pronounce uvulars as velars

The book actually came out over a decade ago, but I somehow missed it at the time. Thanks to @thelingspace​ for recommending it and loaning me a copy!

This is seriously my favourite book in the world, even beyond the linguistics stuff, and I think @allthingslinguistic does a great job of capturing a lot of the linguistics stuff that helps make it great. So it’s worth looking through the Storify for sure! I’m glad that the recommendation went over so well. ^_^

Always reblog The Last Samurai. ❤

This is one of the very few books in existence that I will recommend to nearly anyone. If you’ve never checked it out, go do that thing forthwith!

what, there was a completely unrelated movie with the same name once? *dismissive handflops*

A Linguist livetweets Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai

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