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What Language Is And What It Isn't and What It Could Be

ISBN: 9781592407200 | 159240720X
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Gotham
Pub. Date: 8/7/2012

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A love letter to languages, celebrating their curiosities and smashing 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, and 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 Suriname creoles alike) originate, evolve, multiply, and divide. Raising provocative questions about what qualifies as a language (so-called slang does have structured grammar), McWhorter takes readers on a marvelous journey through time and place-from Persia to the languages of Sri Lanka-to deliver a feast of facts about the wonders of human linguistic expression.


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