OUR MAGNIFICENT BASTARD TONGUE THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF ENGLISH

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Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 9781592404940
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 75.56 MB
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A survey of the English language's usage mysteries considers the ways in which English developed and how it may reflect cultural values, in a reference that covers such topics as Celtic and Welsh influences, the origins of specific syntax patterns, and the role of language in forming early Britain. 25,000 first printing.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

Author : John H. McWhorter
ISBN : 1592403956
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 51.78 MB
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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 i
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 1440634041
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 65.74 MB
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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 Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history. Covering such turning points as 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, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue 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 worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it’s not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

What Language Is

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 9781101644454
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 46.98 MB
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New York Times bestselling author and renowned linguist, John McWhorter, explores the complicated and fascinating world of languages. From Standard English to Black English; obscure tongues only spoken by a few thousand people in the world to the big ones like Mandarin - What Language Is celebrates the history and curiosities of languages around the world and smashes our assumptions about "correct" grammar. An eye-opening tour for all language lovers, What Language Is offers a fascinating new perspective on the way humans communicate. From vanishing languages spoken by a few hundred people to major tongues like Chinese, with copious revelations about the hodgepodge nature of English, John McWhorter shows readers how to see and hear languages as a linguist does. Packed with Big Ideas about language alongside wonderful trivia, What Language Is explains how languages across the globe (the Queen's English and Surinam creoles alike) originate, evolve, multiply, and divide. Raising provocative questions about what qualifies as a language (so-called slang does have structured grammar), McWhorter also takes readers on a marvelous journey through time and place-from Persian to the languages of Sri Lanka- to deliver a feast of facts about the wonders of human linguistic expression.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

The Story Of English

Author : Robert McCrum
ISBN : 0571275087
Genre : English language
File Size : 24.6 MB
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From the author of Globish, a new edition of the acclaimed history of the English language.
Category: English language

Words On The Move

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 9781627794732
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 87.40 MB
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A bestselling linguist takes us on a lively tour of how the English language is evolving before our eyes -- and why we should embrace this transformation and not fight it Language is always changing -- but we tend not to like it. We understand that new words must be created for new things, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it’s the use of literally to mean “figuratively” rather than “by the letter,” or the way young people use LOL and like, or business jargon like What’s the ask? -- it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes. But the truth is different and a lot less scary, as John McWhorter shows in this delightful and eye-opening exploration of how English has always been in motion and continues to evolve today. Drawing examples from everyday life and employing a generous helping of humor, he shows that these shifts are a natural process common to all languages, and that we should embrace and appreciate these changes, not condemn them. 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? McWhorter encourages us to marvel at the dynamism and resilience of the English language, and his book offers a lively journey through which we discover that words are ever on the move and our lives are all the richer for it.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

The Power Of Babel

Author : John McWhorter
ISBN : 9780060520854
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 67.95 MB
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There are approximately six thousand languages on Earth today, each a descendant of the tongue first spoken by Homo sapiens some 150,000 years ago. While laying out how languages mix and mutate over time, linguistics professor John McWhorter 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. Full of humor and imaginative insight, The Power of Babel draws its illustrative examples from languages around the world, including pidgins, Creoles, and nonstandard dialects.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

The Language Hoax

Author : John H. McWhorter
ISBN : 9780199361595
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 89.64 MB
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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? This short, 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. It is language that reflects culture and worldview, not the other way around. The fact that a language has only one word for eat, drink, and smoke doesn't mean its speakers don't process the difference between food and beverage, and those who use the same word for blue and green perceive those two colors just as vividly as others do. 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.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Empires Of The Word

Author : Nicholas Ostler
ISBN : 9780062047359
Genre : History
File Size : 78.20 MB
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Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.
Category: History

A History Of The English Language

Author : Elly van Gelderen
ISBN : 9789027270436
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 68.84 MB
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The English language in its complex shapes and forms changes fast. This thoroughly revised edition has been refreshed with current examples of change and has been updated regarding archeological research. Most suggestions brought up by users and reviewers have been incorporated, for instance, a family tree for Germanic has been added, Celtic influence is highlighted much more, there is more on the origin of Chancery English, and internal and external change are discussed in much greater detail. The philosophy of the revised book remains the same with an emphasis on the linguistic history and on using authentic texts. My audience remains undergraduates (and beginning graduates). The goals of the class and the book are to come to recognize English from various time periods, to be able to read each stage with a glossary, to get an understanding of typical language change, internal and external, and to understand something about language typology through the emphasis on the change from synthetic to analytic. This book has a companion website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/z.183.website
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines