An Unusual Way of Speaking, Yoda Has

by Adrienne Lafrance, originally published in The Atlantic, 18 December 2015

When Luke Skywalker first encounters Yoda, it’s on a swampy planet in The Empire Strikes Back. At first, Luke doesn’t realize the long-eared, wrinkly green creature is, in fact, the one he’s seeking.

“I’m looking for someone,” Luke says.

“Looking?” Yoda replies. “Found someone, you have, I would say, hmmm?”

There’s a narrative effect to the way Yoda speaks. To an English speaker, anyway, the way he orders his sentences sounds vaguely riddle-like, which adds to his mystique.

But what’s actually going on with Yoda, linguistically? Continue reading “An Unusual Way of Speaking, Yoda Has”

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