Story of Human Language

Story of Human Language

Story of Human Language
36xDVDRip | AVI/XviD, ~609 kb/s | 464x336 | Duration: 18:03:49 | English: MP3, 128 kb/s (2 ch) | + PDF Book
Size: 5.28 GB | Genre: Language

I never met a person who is not interested in language, wrote the bestselling author and psychologist Steven Pinker. There are good reasons that language fascinates us so. It not only defines humans as a species, placing us head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators, but it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries.
For example:

How did different languages come to be?
Why isn't there just a single language?
How does a language change, and when it does, is that change indicative of decay or growth?
How does a language become extinct?
Dr. John McWhorter, one of America's leading linguists and a frequent commentator on network television and National Public Radio, addresses these and other questions as he takes you on an in-depth, 36-lecture tour of the development of human language, showing how a single tongue spoken 150,000 years ago has evolved into the estimated 6,000 languages used around the world today.

An accomplished scholar, Professor McWhorter is also a skilled popularizer, whose book The Power of Babel was called "startling, provocative, and remarkably entertaining," by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The London Times called him "a born teacher." And Steven Pinker, best known as the author of The Language Instinct, offered this praise for the book: "McWhorter's arguments are sharply reasoned, refreshingly honest, and thoroughly original."

Discover How Linguists Think

For the past century linguistics has been one of the most exciting and productive fields in the social sciences. In the process of telling the story of language, Professor McWhorter introduces you to some of the current controversies in the discipline:

Noam Chomsky has famously argued that the ability to use language is innately specified in the human brain. What is the evidence for and against this hypothesis?
The popular media have widely reported that words from the world's first language have been reconstructed. Professor McWhorter looks at the reasoning behind this work and the objections to it.
One of the most enticing ideas of 20th-century linguistics is that language determines the way we perceive the world. But is this really true?
The Ebonics debate of the mid-1990s focused attention on Black English. What is the nature of this dialect? Where did it come from?

Professor McWhorter also briefs you on the recent connection made between an obscure language of Nepal and the language family of Papua New Guinea, which may represent the oldest documentable historical relationship between words, extending back as far as 75,000 years.

In discovering how linguists think, you will begin to see language in an entirely new way. You will learn that everything about a language is eternally and inherently changeable, from its word order and grammar to the very sound and meaning of basic words.

That's why Professor McWhorter describes language as "like one of those lava lamps from the 1970s. It's not marching toward an ideal, and it's not slowly going to the dogs. It's always just variations of the same thing-endless morphings."

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Story of Human Language
Story of Human Language
Story of Human Language



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