WorldCat Identities

McWhorter, John H.

Works: 99 works in 296 publications in 1 language and 18,532 library holdings
Genres: History  Criticism, interpretation, etc  Conference proceedings 
Roles: Commentator, Editor
Classifications: PE2808.8, 305.896073
Publication Timeline
Publications about  John H McWhorter Publications about John H McWhorter
Publications by  John H McWhorter Publications by John H McWhorter
Most widely held works by John H McWhorter
The missing Spanish creoles recovering the birth of plantation contact languages by John H McWhorter ( )
11 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 1,772 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
John McWhorter challenges an enduring paradigm among linguists in this provocative exploration of the origins of plantation creoles. Using a wealth of data--linguistic, sociolinguistic, historical--he proposes that the "limited access model" of creole genesis is seriously flawed
Losing the race : self-sabotage in Black America by John H McWhorter ( Book )
10 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 1,730 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Explains why "victimhood" is exaggerated and enshrined in African-American families and discusses why these attitudes are destructive to future generations
Doing our own thing : the degradation of language and music and why we should, like, care by John H McWhorter ( Book )
11 editions published between 2003 and 2005 in English and held by 1,675 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Encourages readers to establish a boundary between an acceptable evolution of language and outright language misuse, predicting the consequences of the overuse of street English in contemporary writing, music, and society
The power of Babel : a natural history of language by John H McWhorter ( Book )
19 editions published between 2001 and 2003 in English and held by 1,478 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"In this tour of territory too often claimed by stodgy grammarians, linguistics professor John McWhorter ranges across linguistic theory, geography, history, and pop culture to tell the fascinating story of how thousands of very different languages have evolved from a single, original source in a natural process similar to biological evolution. While laying out how languages mix and mutate over time, he reminds us of the variety within the species that speaks them, and argues that, contrary to popular perception, language is not immutable and hidebound, but a living, dynamic entity that adapts itself to an ever-changing human environment."
Authentically Black : essays for the Black silent majority by John H McWhorter ( Book )
8 editions published between 2002 and 2014 in English and held by 1,372 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
In his New York Times bestseller, Losing the Race, John McWhorter, a Berkeley linguistics professor, tried to make sense of why so many African-Americans continue to define themselves by race and examined what he calls the cult of Victimology, Separatism, and Anti-Intellectualism he has witnessed on America's college campuses. In Authentically Black, McWhorter broadens his lens in this penetrating and profound collection of essays that continue his exploration of what it means to be black in America today. According to McWhorter, nearly forty years after the Civil Rights Act, African-Americans in this country still remain "a race apart." He feels that modern black Americans have internalized a tacit message: "authentically black" people stress initiative in private but cloak the race in victimhood in public in order to protect black people from an ever-looming white backlash. McWhorter terms this phenomenon the "New Double Consciousness" in homage to W. E. B. Dubois's description of a different kind of double consciousness in blacks a century ago. It is within this context that McWhorter takes us on a guided tour through the race issues dominating our current discourse: racial profiling, getting past race, the reparations movement, black stereotypes in film and television, black leadership, diversity, affirmative action, the word nigger, and Cornel West's resignation from Harvard. With his fierce intelligence and fervent eloquence, John McWhorter makes a powerful case for the advancement of true racial equality. Authentically Black is a timely and important work about issues that must be addressed by blacks and whites alike. Authentically Black is a book for Americans of every racial, social, political, and economic persuasion
Defining creole by John H McWhorter ( )
11 editions published between 2004 and 2005 in English and held by 1,253 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Gathers articles on creole languages and their origins, by John H McWhorter, a unique and often controversial scholar in the field. This book is of interest to scholars and students of creole and pidgin studies, and lingustics more broadly
Language change and language contact in pidgins and creoles by John H McWhorter ( )
19 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and held by 1,162 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This book collects a selection of fifteen papers presented at three meetings of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics in 1996 and 1997. The focus is on papers which approach issues in creole studies with novel perspectives, address understudied pidgin and creole varieties, or compellingly argue for controversial positions. The papers demonstrate how pidgins and creoles shed light on issues such as verb movement, contact-induced language change and its gradations, discourse management via tense-aspect particles, language genesis, substratal transfer, and Universal Grammar, and cover a w
Winning the race : beyond the crisis in Black America by John H McWhorter ( Book )
9 editions published between 2005 and 2014 in English and held by 1,155 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Four decades after the great victories of the Civil Rights Movement secured equal rights for African-Americans, black America is in crisis. Indeed, by most measurable standards, conditions for many blacks have grown worse since 1965: desperate poverty, incarceration rates, teenage pregnancy and out-of- wedlock births, and educational failures. For years, pundits have blamed these problems on forces outside the black community. But now, in a broad-ranging re-envisioning of the post-Civil Rights black American experience, author McWhorter argues that black America's current problems began with an unintended byproduct of the Civil Rights revolution, a crippling mindset of "therapeutic alienation." This wary stance toward mainstream American culture, although it is a legacy of racism in the past, continues to hold blacks back, and McWhorter traces the poisonous effects of this defeatist attitude. McWhorter puts forth a new vision of black leadership, arguing that both blacks and whites must abolish the culture of victimhood.--From publisher description
Our magnificent bastard tongue : the untold history of English by John H McWhorter ( Book )
12 editions published between 2008 and 2014 in English and held by 906 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, author McWhorter distills hundreds of years of lore into one lively history. Covering the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century AD, and drawing on genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, McWhorter ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English--and its ironic simplicity, due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados have been waiting for.--From publisher description
Linguistic simplicity and complexity why do languages undress? by John H McWhorter ( )
16 editions published between 2011 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 821 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
In John McWhorter's Defining Creole anthology of 2005, his collected articles conveyed the following theme: His hypothesis that creole languages are definable not just in the sociohistorical sense, but in the grammatical sense. His publications since the 1990s have argued that all languages of the world that lack a certain three traits together are creoles (i.e. born as pidgins a few hundred years ago and fleshed out into real languages). He also argued that in light of their pidgin birth, such languages are less grammatically complex than others, as the result of their recent birth as pidgins. These two claims have been highly controversial among creolists as well as other linguists. In this volume, Linguistic Simplicityand Complexity, McWhorter gathers articles he has written since then, in the wake of responses from a wide range of creolists and linguists. These articles represent a considerable divergence in direction from his earlier work
What language is : and what it isn't and what it could be by John H McWhorter ( Book )
7 editions published between 2011 and 2012 in English and held by 772 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"A provocative look at how languages originate, divide, multiply, and work"--Page [2] of jacket
The word on the street : fact and fable about American English by John H McWhorter ( Book )
7 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 751 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
In The Word on the Street, John McWhorter reveals our American English in all its variety, beauty, and expressiveness. Debunking the myth of a "pure" standard English, he considers the speech patterns and accents of many regions and ethnic groups in the U.S. and demonstrates how language evolves. He takes up the tricky question of gender-neutral pronouns. He dares to ask, "Should we translate Shakespeare?" Focusing on whether how our children speak determines how they learn, he presents the controversial Ebonics debate in light of his research on dialects and creoles. The Word on the Street frees us to truly speak our minds. It is John McWhorter's answer to William Safire, transformed here into everybody's Aunt Lucy, who insists on correcting our grammar and making us feel slightly embarrassed about our everyday use of the language. ("To whom," she will insist, and "don't split your infinitives!") He reminds us that we'd better accept the fact that language is always changing - not only slang, but sound, syntax, and words' meanings - and get on with the business of communicating effectively with one another. --From publisher's description
All about the beat : why hip-hop can't save Black America by John H McWhorter ( Book )
4 editions published between 2008 and 2014 in English and held by 429 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"In All About the Beat, John McWhorter celebrates hip-hop for what it is (feel-good, meticulously crafted music), while defining what it is not (useful political advice). It has become an effect of hip-hop for rappers to list in their songs pressing issues in black communities - from welfare to police violence to generalized oppression - but McWhorter argues that pointing to a problem is not the same as solving it. And hip-hop cannot offer meaningful dialogue because, by its very nature, it consists in quick-hitting snips of thought, not treatises on policy planning."--BOOK JACKET
The story of human language by John H McWhorter ( Visual )
11 editions published between 2004 and 2010 in English and held by 390 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Language is fascinating. It defines humans as a species, placing us head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. Professor McWhorter explores many of the common questions about language, such as: Why isn't there just a single language? Or, How does a language change, and when it does, is that change indicative of decay or growth? In short, everything about a language is eternally and inherently changeable, from its word order and grammar to the very sound and meaning of basic words, while word histories reveal the phenomena of language change and mixture worldwide
Language interrupted : signs of non-native acquisition in standard language grammars by John H McWhorter ( Book )
15 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 292 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Written by one of the leading figures in creole studies, this book addresses in detail five distinct language families, making it of interest to specialists in all of them. Language Interrupted is also a useful unitary statement about language contact, to be consulted partly as a text and partly as a reference book with case studies."--BOOK JACKET
The language hoax : why the world looks the same in any language by John H McWhorter ( Book )
2 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 289 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Japanese has a term that covers both green and blue. Russian has separate terms for dark and light blue. Does this mean that Russians perceive these colors differently from Japanese people? Does language control and limit the way we think, such that each language gives its speakers a different 'worldview?' This opinionated book addresses the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which argues that the language we speak shapes the way we perceive the world. Linguist John McWhorter argues that while this idea is mesmerizing, it is plainly wrong... McWhorter shows not only how the idea of language as a lens fails but also why we want so badly to believe it: we're eager to celebrate diversity by acknowledging the intelligence of peoples who may not think like we do. Though well-intentioned, our belief in this idea poses an obstacle to a better understanding of human nature and even trivializes the people we seek to celebrate. The reality--that all humans think alike--provides another, better way for us to acknowledge the intelligence of all peoples."--book jacket
A grammar of Saramaccan Creole by John H McWhorter ( )
10 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 286 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Saramaccan has been central to various debates regarding the origin and nature of creole languages. Being the most removed of all English-based creoles from European language structure in terms of phonology, morphology and syntax, it has been seen as one of the most extreme instantiations of the creolization process. This is the first full-length description of Saramaccan. The grammar documents, in particular, a valence-sensitive system of indicating movement and direction via serial verb constructions, hitherto overlooked amidst the generalized phenomenon of serialization itself. John H. McWhorter, Columbia University, New York, USA; Jeff Good, University at Buffalo, New York, USA
Spreading the word : language and dialect in America by John H McWhorter ( Book )
3 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 263 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
The story of human language by John H McWhorter ( Recording )
8 editions published between 2004 and 2005 in English and held by 248 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Professor McWhorter delivers lectures tracing the origins and history of language
The word on the street : debunking the myth of "pure" standard English by John H McWhorter ( Book )
5 editions published between 1998 and 2009 in English and held by 218 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
A barbed rebuttal to the conservative view that popular culture is destroying the English language
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Alternative Names
Mac Whorter John Hamilton 1955-....
MacWhorter, John
MacWhorter, John 1965-
MacWhorter, John H. 1965-
MacWhorter John Hamilton 1955-....
MacWhorter, John Hamilton 1965-
Mc Whorter, John H. 1965-
Mc Whorter John Hamilton 1955-....
McWhorter, John.
McWhorter, John 1965-
McWhorter, John H.
McWhorter, John Hamilton 1965-
English (203)