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I actually thought the movie was a pretty good representation of
what field linguists do, given the constraints film-makers have put
on themselves.

The Whorfian thinking didn't bother me a bit. For some perspective,
talk to a physicist sometime about time- / faster-than-light travel to
see how SF can get stuff intentionally and spectacularly wrong for
the sake of telling an interesting story.[1]

AND THE MAIN CHARACTER IS A WOMAN WHO DOESN'T HAVE
TO ACT LIKE A MAN IN ORDER TO GET THINGS DONE.

So I think that there's a lot to love about Arrival. But if what you're
interested in is linguistic realism, go take a linguistics course or do
your own fieldwork.

Dirk

[1] Whether you found the story of Arrival interesting or not is another
matter. I found it to be quite moving; it's a story of a mother's love for
her child, not first contact with aliens and saving the world.


On Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 2:34 PM, Asher Jaffe <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The film does treat the audience like idiots who know nothing about
> language whatsoever, so Forrest Whitaker is a complete idiot.  The rest of
> it was a little lame.  It took the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis too goddamn far.
> I hate the S-W hypothesis.  It's fine in small doses but NO!  Time does not
> work that way!  Language doesn't allow you to make a paradox!  Overall,
> it's a linguistically uninteresting and inaccurate rehash of Christopher
> Nolan's* The Prestige* or* Memento*.
>
> On Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 4:27 PM, A Walker Scott <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > LOL There was a thread right about the time of the release. It seems like
> > Alex, or maybe Sai, was involved, or maybe even started it. I don't
> > remember much about the content, and may have been putting of reading the
> > thread until I saw the movie, which I did after it came out on video. I
> > felt much like you. I wanted to strangle SOMEbody. Not another
> Sapir-Whorf
> > rehash. It's been done. It's not fresh. It's not cutting edge. It isn't
> > even valid.
> >
> > Adam
> >
> > On Tue, Mar 20, 2018 at 7:01 AM, Krista D. Casada <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hello all,
> > >
> > >
> > > Has there been any discussion of the 2016 film "The Arrival," starring
> > Amy
> > > Adams and Jeremy Renner, on this list--on a thread I might have missed?
> > > Watched it and wanted to strangle someone, but have not yet decided
> whom.
> > > 😉 Would be very interested in others' opinions, especially of the
> > > linguistic aspects. ("You translated Farsi videos in, like, ten
> minutes.
> > > Whaddya mean you can't *translate* this unknown alien language?!?")
> > >
> > >
> > > Krista C.
> > >
> >
>