The Story of Human Language : The Great Courses: Linguistics

  • Par The Great Courses, John McWhorter
  • Lu par Professor John McWhorter
  • Séries : The Great Courses: Linguistics
  • 18 h 15 min
  • Lecture

Résumé de l'éditeur

Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct. Now you can explore all of these questions and more in an in-depth series of 36 lectures from one of America's leading linguists.
You'll be witness to the development of human language, learning how a single tongue spoken 150,000 years ago evolved into the estimated 6,000 languages used around the world today and gaining an appreciation of the remarkable ways in which one language sheds light on another.
The many fascinating topics you examine in these lectures include: the intriguing evidence that links a specific gene to the ability to use language; the specific mechanisms responsible for language change; language families and the heated debate over the first language; the phenomenon of language mixture; why some languages develop more grammatical machinery than they actually need; the famous hypothesis that says our grammars channel how we think; artificial languages, including Esperanto and sign languages for the deaf; and how word histories reflect the phenomena of language change and mixture worldwide.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Fantastic approach to our linguistic history

A great way to discover the great voyage through time and space of the many words we speak.
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- Client Amazon

Many flaws in Arabic

When talking about the word "Nothing" in Arabic, the lecturer made many mistakes. For instance he claimed that ši and šay mean Nothing in Algerian and Tunisian. The fact is that ši and šay mean Thing and to say Nothing you need to change it to Wálu in Algerian and add حد in Tunisian. He said that wálu is Moroccan when it is widely used in Algeria. His big mistake is when he claimed that Nothing in Egyptian is Dilwa'ti. In fact Dilwa'ti means Now. Nothing is Wala Haga.
In addition he overestimated the difference between dialects in some Arab countries. I should say Arabic may be very confusing for non-Arab speakers especially when you have, for example, El- in the beginning of your last name and your passport shows Al- instead. It is an Arabic to Latin scripting issue. In Arabic it is written ال wherever it is Al or El and Arab people switch effortlessly between these 2 versions even in the same sentence when they speak in their Arabic dialect. I gave this example to make it clear since the actual examples for the lectures are more difficult to debate when you don't speak Arabic.
I hope that his arguments about other languages are flawless but it is up to Native to send their critics. I tweeted to the Lecturer but he didn't reply .. I will listen to another audiobook about English by the same author but I can no more trust his global theories about language in general and especially foreign ones.
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Détails du livre audio

  • Date de publication : 08-07-2013
  • Éditeur : The Great Courses