Peculiarities of the Inuktitut language

The Guardian today links to an article at the University of Toronto website about the myth that the Eskimo language (Inuktitut) has 200 words for snow.

Other researchers have noted that Whorf originally focused not on how many words for ‘snow’ there were, but instead on the fact that there was no single word equivalent to the broad meaning of English ‘snow.’

There are no specific words for fish, bear or people either, only for specific kinds of them. The Guardian adds:

the real gem here is the inclusion of the Labrador dialect word meaning ‘I thought I would never go to jail’: pannanaitsimavilialautsimaniagasugilautsimalaungilanga.

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