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The Modern Scholar: A History of the English Language | [Michael Drout]

The Modern Scholar: A History of the English Language

Professor Drout addresses the foundation of language and its connection to specific portions of the brain. The components of language are explained in easy-to-understand terms and the progression of the language from Germanic to Old, Middle, and Modern English is fully illustrated - including such revolutionary language upheavals as those brought about by the Norman Conquest and the Great Vowel Shift.
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Publisher's Summary

Professor Drout addresses the foundation of language and its connection to specific portions of the brain. The components of language are explained in easy-to-understand terms and the progression of the language from Germanic to Old, Middle, and Modern English is fully illustrated - including such revolutionary language upheavals as those brought about by the Norman Conquest and the Great Vowel Shift.

One of the most interesting aspects of the English language lies in its variants, such as the "soda" vs. "pop" debate and the place of African-American English in modern culture. These and other dialectual curiosities are looked at in detail and placed in the context of today's world. Finally, Professor Drout examines the future, not only of the English language, but of all the world's languages.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2006 Michael Drout; (P)2006 Recorded Books

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  •  
    Maria Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 11-02-10
    Maria Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 11-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hits all the right marks"

    I taught a similar course and we actually used the same program - phonetics, history, and then discussions about present day English. I found some of the discussion about code switching appealing (politically) but not always convincing. Drout prefaced the section by saying that many linguists don't agree and I appreciated that honesty. I found the explanations of the Great Vowel Shift and Norman Conquest particularly interesting. More than anything, the lectures were compelling, conversational in tone, and interesting -- this is not your typical boring history class! Great intro course for students and anyone interested in our fascinating language!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta 02-25-10
    Roberta 02-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quite enjoyable"

    The professor has a quiet but enthusiastic way of presenting his material. He held my interest throughout the course. Fortunately I was alone when I practiced my sounds, but I feel I learned a lot about a language I take for granted. I recommend this book to anyone curious about English and about language in general. Not a definitive piece, but one that will please people who just want to know.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 03-02-10
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 03-02-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great set of lecture"

    The first few lectures on phonelogy basics can be fairly boring, but this is one of the few Modern Scholar courses that become progressively more interesting as each lecture goes by. I learned a great deal and I am sure I'd revisit it time and again.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    History Buff Maryland 06-25-12
    History Buff Maryland 06-25-12 Member Since 2005

    Grace

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    "A Book Best Listened"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    What a fascinating story of the development of language. To hear it read added immensely to my enjoyment. Why does English have so many silent 'e's? Why are there silent 'k's before 'en's?


    What did you like best about this story?

    It explained the language I call my own and gave me an appreciation--or greater appreciation--about the connectivity of humankind.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Attila the Hun. Who knew he was just a big papabear?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jkhbusiness2 Boston, MA, United States 12-21-11
    jkhbusiness2 Boston, MA, United States 12-21-11

    JoshBoston

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    "decent for beginners"

    as a trained psycholinguist, I found the author's frequent misstatements about psychology and neuroscience annoying. Hopefully he understood the history of language better than he understood these peripheral parts of his course. But it made me wonder...

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin52000 Silver Spring, MD United States 05-23-13
    Robin52000 Silver Spring, MD United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "informative and fun"

    Michael Drout's enthusiasm and love for the subject made this series a lot of fun. I plan to listen to the lectures again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 10-08-12
    David 10-08-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Drout excellence"
    Any additional comments?

    Drout is great as always in explaining how the English language has evolved to become the international of today. He is a terrific speaker.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Heather
    Forneth, Perthshire
    1/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well up to this speaker's high standard - enjoy!"

    Ignore the tedious intro by the old buffer. It's not a fair representation of the recording itself, which is very good indeed. I can't find a way to skip the intro, but the main lectures are well worth waiting for!

    The lecturer's heavy American accent is hard to take at first, but the scholarship draws you in. Drout is so besotted with his subject that you will be taken to a new level of understanding, even if you're not a specialist and this is new for you. The material is uncompromisingly academic - he pulls no punches when it comes to some complex linguistic material - but the way in which it is presented is so enthusiastic and informal that it's like listening to a very intelligent friend who just happens to be obsessed with the English language and its development.

    Tolkein fans will soon realise that they have a kindred spirit in Dr Drout. His lectures on fantasy and science fiction extends this and his Anglo Saxon audio lectures are also great and all on Audible.

    In this cynical and shallow world, it's lovely to come across real academic depth matched with sheer enthusiasm for the subject. If this blend appeals to you too, prepare for some serious fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dot Gent
    12/23/13
    Overall
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    "Fascinating and fun!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Modern Scholar the most enjoyable?

    Professor Drought's easy delivery and sense of humour make the journey through the English language's history and technical bits enjoyable as well as enlightening. I loved this listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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