Friday, June 15, 2012

John McWhorter - The Story of Human Language

The latest from my lecture-listening is from The Great Courses series, The Story of Human Language, given by Professor John McWhorter now of Columbia University.  I've really enjoyed the Great Courses over the years, and this one was definitely no exception.

McWhorter provides what I thought was quite a comprehensive overview of language in all its diversity and similarities, reviewing the development, evolution, and devolution of language, and the various controversies and topical interests as of 2004, when the lectures were produced.  I can see why The Teaching Company had him contribute to their productions; he's a very engaging lecturer.  I even got to learn some about his cat, Laura, who likes to sit in his open suitcase when he's trying to pack.  Sadly, though, at this point, I have no idea in what context he mentioned his cat, other than it may have had something to do with why critters - and humans - do idiosyncratic things...

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