the power of babel a natural history of language

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The Power Of Babel

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 9781446472408
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 46. 18 MB
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There can be few subjects of such widespread interest and fascination to anyone who reads as the strange ways of languages. In this wonderfully entertaining and fascinating book, John McWhorter introduces us to 'the natural history of language': from Russonorsk, a creole of Russian and Norwegian once spoken by trading fur trappers to an Australian Aboriginal language which only has three verbs. Witty, brilliant and authoritative, this book is a must for anyone who is interested in language, as sheerly enjoyable as non-fiction gets.

What Language Is

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 9781101644454
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 23. 6 MB
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New York Times bestselling author and renowned linguist, John McWhorter, explores the complicated and fascinating world of languages. From Standard English to Black English; obscure tongues only spoken by a few thousand people in the world to the big ones like Mandarin - What Language Is celebrates the history and curiosities of languages around the world and smashes our assumptions about "correct" grammar. An eye-opening tour for all language lovers, What Language Is offers a fascinating new perspective on the way humans communicate. From vanishing languages spoken by a few hundred people to major tongues like Chinese, with copious revelations about the hodgepodge nature of English, John McWhorter shows readers how to see and hear languages as a linguist does. Packed with Big Ideas about language alongside wonderful trivia, What Language Is explains how languages across the globe (the Queen's English and Surinam creoles alike) originate, evolve, multiply, and divide. Raising provocative questions about what qualifies as a language (so-called slang does have structured grammar), McWhorter also takes readers on a marvelous journey through time and place-from Persian to the languages of Sri Lanka- to deliver a feast of facts about the wonders of human linguistic expression.

Doing Our Own Thing

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 9781446473221
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 33. 83 MB
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Once languages become written, they change. Only in writing does language develop the artfulness and richness that we associate with a Shakespeare, a Proust or a Whitman. Yet over the last forty years, the English-language has effectively gone into reverse - taking our lead from America and the legacy of the 1960s, our culture increasingly privileges the oral over the written, spurning the art of elaborated, 'written'-style language in favour of returning to the state of a spoken culture. Parallel developments have occurred in music. In this controversial and thought-provoking book, John McWhorter argues that the 1960's rejection of cultural traits associated with the Establishment, as well as a democratic celebration of what anyone can do over what requires training or talent, has led to our culture being increasingly impoverished, both intellectually and artistically...

The Tower Of Babel In Genesis

Author : James Austin
ISBN : 1449780695
Genre : Religion
File Size : 62. 68 MB
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This book takes the reader back to the Tower of Babel and discusses themes and ideas present that resonate throughout Genesis, the Bible, and into modern history. The reader will more fully understand why the Tower of Babel narrative appears where it does in biblical history. Furthermore, the reader will learn why this event in human history remains one of the single most important events in the interaction of humanity and the divine.

Babel S Tower Translated

Author : Phillip Michael Sherman
ISBN : 9789004248618
Genre : Religion
File Size : 57. 20 MB
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Ancient Jewish Interpreters read and rewrote the biblical narrative of the Tower of Babel to address various challenges to the identity of 'Israel' in the Second Temple and early rabbinic periods.

Defining Creole

Author : John H. McWhorter
ISBN : 0195347234
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 51. 98 MB
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A conventional wisdom among creolists is that creole is a sociohistorical term only: that creole languages share a particular history entailing adults rapidly acquiring a language usually under conditions of subordination, but that structurally they are indistinguishable from other languages. The articles by John H. McWhorter collected in this volume demonstrate that this is in fact untrue. Creole languages, while complex and nuanced as all human languages are, are delineable from older languages as the result of their having come into existence only a few centuries ago. Then adults learn a language under untutored conditions, they abbreviate its structure, focusing upon features vital to communication and shaving away most of the features useless to communication that bedevil those acquiring the language non-natively. When they utilize their rendition of the language consistently enough to create a brand-new one, this new creation naturally evinces evidence of its youth: specifically, a much lower degree of the random accretions typical in older languages, which only develop over vast periods of time. The articles constitute a case for this thesis based on both broad, cross-creole ranges of data and focused expositions referring to single creole languages. The book presents a general case for a theory of language contact and creolization in which not only transfer from source languages but also structural reduction plays a central role, based on facts whose marginality of address in creole studies has arisen from issues sociopolitical as well as scientific. For several decades the very definition of the term creole has been elusive even among creole specialists. This book attempts to forge a path beyond the inter- and intra-disciplinary misunderstandings and stalemates that have resulted from this, and to demonstrate the place that creoles might occupy in other linguistic subfields, including typology, language contact, and syntactic theory.

The Language Hoax

Author : John H. McWhorter
ISBN : 9780199361588
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 25. 38 MB
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Challenges the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which claims that the language people speak shapes the way they perceive the world, arguing against the use of language as a lens through which to better understand human nature.

Authentically Black

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 1101216581
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 84. 81 MB
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The critically acclaimed book from the bestselling author of Losing the Race and The Power of Babel John McWhorter is one of the most original and provocative thinkers on the issue of race in America today. In Authentically Black McWhorter argues that although African-Americans stress hard work and initiative in private, they have assumed the mantle of victimhood in the eyes of the public and have thereby created a distorted meaning of what it is to be "authentically black." McWhorter takes on this mentality and its debilitating implications—in topics ranging from rap music to the reparations movement, to the portrayal of African-Americans on television to racial profiling— injecting new ideas and a fresh approach into the nationwide debate on race. Authentically Black is a powerful and important book that will inform and influence the opinions of Americans across all racial and political spectra.

Modern Languages

Author : Alison Phipps
ISBN : 0761974180
Genre : Education
File Size : 64. 35 MB
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This accessible book is written by teachers of modern languages and tackles the specifics of the discipline while situating it within the literature on teaching Modern Languages in Higher Education.

Spoken Here

Author : Mark Abley
ISBN : 0618565833
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 65. 4 MB
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Explores the linguistic characteristics and oddities of some of the world's threatened languages, including Max, Mohaw, Yiddish, and Boro, and the diverse forces that threaten to destroy them and the cultures that spawned them.

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