"Movements for social justice have long insisted on 'naming the system' because the relationships among thought, language, and emancipation are intimate and fundamental to power."
"Other beings can fly, see at night, rip open trees with their claws, make maple syrup. What can humans do? We may not have wings or leaves, but we humans do have words. Language is our gift and our responsibility."
"When a language dies, so much more than words are lost. Language is the dwelling place of ideas that do not exist anywhere else."
"Words blow away. Even thought dissipates like wisps of cloud sailing up the headland. There is only being."
"In the Apache language, the root word for land is the same as the word for mind."
"Plants tell their stories not by what they say, but by what they do. What if you were a teacher but had no voice to speak your knowledge? What if you had no language at all and yet there was something you needed to say? Wouldn't you dance it? Wouldn't you act it out? Wouldn't your every movement tell the story?"
"Maybe a grammar of animacy could lead us to whole new ways of living in the world."
"English is a noun-based language, somehow appropriate to a culture so obsessed with things."
"Our teacher, Justin Neely, a young man devoted to language revival, explains that while there are several words for 'thank you', there is no word for 'please'. Food was meant to be shared, no added politeness needed; it was simply a cultural given that one was asking respectfully."