Showing results by author "John Mcwhorter"

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    • The Story of Human Language

    • By: John McWhorter, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,744
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,486
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,452

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • You'll Never Look at Languages the Same Way Again

    • By SAMA on 03-11-14

    Regular price: $41.95

    • How the Words of Modern English Emerged

    • By: John McWhorter
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    Starting with Celtic contributions to English vocabulary, explore the borrowings from Old Norse, French, and Latin. These have enriched English with a wealth of synonyms, allowing speakers to choose between alternatives such as the Anglo-Saxon hide versus the Latinate conceal.

    Regular price: $1.37

    • Surprises in the Ancestry of Old English

    • By: John McWhorter
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    Trace the evidence that English derives from a language that was incompletely learned by invaders of northern Europe more than 2,000 years ago. Where were these people from? An analysis of sound changes in their language, Proto-Germanic, leads to an intriguing hypothesis.

    Regular price: $1.37

    • Dialects and the Fallacy of Blackboard Grammar

    • By: John McWhorter
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10

    Understanding language change and how languages differ helps us see that what is often labeled "wrong" about people's speech is, in fact, a misanalysis.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Superb -- in both content and delivery !!!

    • By C. Miller on 04-28-17

    Regular price: $1.37

    • How Artificial Languages Work

    • By: John McWhorter
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 30 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9

    There have been many attempts to create languages for use by the whole world. The most successful is Esperanto. Sign languages for the deaf are also artificial languages, though ones fully equipped with grammar, nuance, and dialects.

    Regular price: $1.37

    • Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage

    • By: John McWhorter, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 599
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 540
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 521

    Conventional wisdom suggests English is going to the dogs, that bad grammar, slang, and illogical constructions signal a decline in standards of usage - to say nothing of the corruption wrought by email and text messages. But English is a complicated, marvelous language. Far from being a language in decline, English is the product of surprisingly varied linguistic forces, some of which have only recently come to light. And these forces continue to push English in exciting new directions.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • This course will turn you into a linguistics fan!

    • By Quaker on 11-15-13

    Regular price: $34.95

    • Language A to Z

    • By: John McWhorter, The Great Courses
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,296
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,180
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,152

    Linguistics, the study of language, has a reputation for being complex and inaccessible. But here's a secret: There's a lot that's quirky and intriguing about how human language works-and much of it is downright fun to learn about. But with so many potential avenues of exploration, it can often seem daunting to try to understand it. Where does one even start?

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A genious Miscelany of linguistic topics

    • By Jacobus on 05-06-14

    Regular price: $14.95

    • Words on the Move

    • Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally)
    • By: John McWhorter
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 849
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 789
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 786

    Words on the Move opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to the words and expressions we use every day. Did you know that silly once meant "blessed"? Or that ought was the original past tense of owe? Or that the suffix -ly in adverbs is actually a remnant of the word like? And have you ever wondered why some people from New Orleans sound as if they come from Brooklyn?

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Literally A Great Listen

    • By sgonk on 10-02-16

    Regular price: $19.95

    • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

    • The Untold History of English
    • By: John McWhorter
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2,660
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 2,237
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 2,215

    A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. 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, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great for casual linguists

    • By Anderson on 01-11-10

    Regular price: $19.95

    • The Language Hoax

    • Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language
    • By: John H. McWhorter
    • Narrated by: John McWhorter
    • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 144
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 132
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 128

    This short, opinionated audiobook 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. It is language that reflects culture and worldview, not the other way around.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • I really love listening to language--and McWhorter

    • By Rachel on 03-24-16

    Regular price: $19.95

    • How to Listen to Trump Every Day for Years

    • By: John Mcwhorter
    • Narrated by: Barbara Benjamin-Creel
    • Length: 8 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 2

    His audience liked the applause lines, as they always do. But it’s hard to resist laughing at Trumpian syntax. I am given to indulging in it with a finger of bourbon after long days. My favorite so far is this insight from a South Carolina rally in 2015:

    "How to Listen to Trump Every Day for Years" is from the January 22, 2017 Opinion section of The New York Times. It was written by John Mcwhorter and narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.

    Regular price: $0.95