John McWhorter

What Language Is

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Hour 1: From the archives – What makes a language genuine and how is the accelerating rate of linguistic change affecting the ongoing debate over how we communicate? We talked in August with renowned linguist, author and educator John McWhorter whose most recent book is “What Language Is: And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be” (Gotham Books, 2011).

  • Stephen

    I disagree that English was dumbed down.  It was simplified.  That is common in all languages.  Vocabulary increases.  Grammar simplifies.  A large vocabulary and simple grammar are markers of a relatively older language or a relatively greatly used language.

  • Stephen

    I disagree that English was dumbed down.  It was simplified.  That is common in all languages.  Vocabulary increases.  Grammar simplifies.  A large vocabulary and simple grammar are markers of a relatively older language or a relatively greatly used language.

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