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The story of human language

Author: John H McWhorter; Teaching Company.
Publisher: Chantilly, VA : Teaching Company, ©2004.
Series: Great courses (DVD)
Edition/Format:   DVD video : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: John H McWhorter; Teaching Company.
ISBN: 1565859480 9781565859487 9791565859486
OCLC Number: 57676721
Notes: Course guidebooks include lecture outline, timeline, glossary, and bibliography.
Credits: Producer, James Blandford ; director, Jon Leven ; academic content supervisor, Pam Greer ; camera, Tom Dooley, Jim Allen, Amanda Carter.
Performer(s): Thirty-six lectures of thirty minutes each by lecturer Professor John McWhorter, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Description: 6 videodiscs (approximately 1080 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + part 1 guidebook (ii, 73 pages ; 22 cm) + part 2 guidebook (ii, 70 pages ; 22 cm) + part 3 guidebook (ii, 66 pages ; 22 cm).
Details: DVD.
Contents: Part 1 : Lecture 1. What is language? --
Lecture 2. When language began --
Lecture 3. How language changes: sound change --
Lecture 4. How language changes: building new material --
Lecture 5. How language changes: meaning and order --
Lecture 6. How language changes: many directions --
Lecture 7. How language changes: modern English --
Lecture 8. Language families: Indo-European --
Lecture 9. Language families: tracing Indo-European --
Lecture 10. Language families: diversity of structures --
Lecture 11. Language families: clues to the past --
Lecture 12. The case against the world's first language. Part 2 : Lecture 13. The case for the world's first language --
Lecture 14. Dialects: subspecies of species --
Lecture 15. Dialects: where do you draw the line? --
Lecture 16. Dialects: two tongues in one mouth --
Lecture 17. Dialects: the standard as token of the past --
Lecture 18. Dialects: spoken style, written style --
Lecture 19. Dialects: the fallacy of blackboard grammar --
Lecture 20. Language mixture: words --
Lecture 21. Language mixture: grammar --
Lecture 22. Language mixture: language areas --
Lecture 23. Language develops beyond the call of duty --
Lecture 24. Language interrupted. Part 3 : Lecture 25. A new perspective on the story of English --
Lecture 26. Does culture drive language change? --
Lecture 27. Language starts over: Pidgins --
Lecture 28. Language starts over: Creoles I --
Lecture 29. Language starts over: Creoles II --
Lecture 30. Language starts over: signs of the new --
Lecture 31. Language starts over: the Creole continuum --
Lecture 32. What is Black English? --
Lecture 33. Language death: the problem --
Lecture 34. Language death: prognosis --
Lecture 35. Artificial languages --
Lecture 36. Finale: master class.
Series Title: Great courses (DVD)
Responsibility: the Teaching Company.

Abstract:

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.

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