The Story of Human Language Unabridged (mp3) 18hrs

The Story of Human Language Unabridged (mp3) 18hrs







有声电子书名(Audiobook name):

The Story of Human Language Unabridged (mp3) 18hrs




The Story of Human Language

Delivered by: Professor Seth Lerer (University of California at San Diego)

Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins

Release Date: 07-08-13

Publisher: The Great Courses

Language basics. In Lecture 1, you start by comparing human language to animal communication and ask, how valid are claims that animals such as chimpanzees have rudimentary language skills? Then you look at intriguing evidence that links a specific gene to the ability to use language. The first appearance of this gene in humans has been calculated and gives a surprisingly early date for the birth of language.

Chomsky’s revolution. In Lecture 2, Professor McWhorter notes that linguists are often mistakenly thought to be translators or experts on word histories. But their work takes them far deeper into language. For example, Noam Chomsky and his coworkers have been searching for the grammatical properties common to all languages—an effort that has revolutionized linguistics, though not without controversy.

Change is the norm. In Lectures 3–7, you learn the specific mechanisms responsible for language change, from phenomena such as the tone system in Chinese to the gradual shift in the meanings of words over time. You will find that even the parts of Shakespeare you believe you understand may not mean what you think.

Beginnings. In Lectures 8–13, you explore language families, starting with Indo-European, comprising languages from India to Ireland including English. Other language families discussed are Semitic, Sino-Tibetan, Austronesian, Bantu, and Native American. You also look at the heated debate over the first language.

Dialects. In Lectures 14–19, you cover dialects. Often one dialect is chosen as the standard, and when it is used in writing, it changes more slowly than the dialects that are just spoken. One consequence is that people who speak written languages are often taught that the constructions they produce spontaneously are errors.

Mixing it up. In Lectures 20–22, you study the phenomenon of language mixture. The first language’s 6,000 branches have not only diverged into dialects, but they have been constantly mixing with one another on all levels: vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and usage. As a result, English comprises a vocabulary of largely borrowed terms.

How English got that way. In Lectures 23–25, you learn how processes of change lead some languages to develop more grammatical machinery than they need, while others become streamlined, shedding such complexities. English is an interesting example of the latter tendency.

Prisoner of grammar? In Lecture 26, you examine the famous Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which proposes that features of our grammars channel how we think.

New languages from old. In Lectures 27–32, Professor McWhorter focuses on pidgins and creoles. When people learn a language quickly without being explicitly taught, they develop a pidgin version of it. Then if they need to use this pidgin on an everyday basis it becomes a real language, a creole. Some people argue that Black English is a creole, and Professor McWhorter devotes a lecture to this issue.

Extinction. In Lectures 33 and 34, you come full circle. Having explored the processes that give birth to new languages, you now learn how languages become extinct and what can be done to preserve them.

Conclusion. In Lectures 35 and 36, you explore artificial languages, including Esperanto and sign languages for the deaf, and conclude by examining a single English sentence etymologically. In the process, you learn how word histories reflect the phenomena of language change and mixture worldwide.

书籍中文简介(Translated by 百度翻译):


交付方式:Seth Lerer教授(加州大学圣地亚哥分校)





乔姆斯基的革命。在讲座2中,麦克沃特教授指出,语言学家经常被误认为翻译者或词汇史专家。但他们的工作使他们更深入语言。例如,诺姆·乔姆斯基(Noam Chomsky)和他的同事们一直在寻找所有语言共同的语法属性 - 这种努力使语言学变革,尽管没有争议。







从旧的新语言。在第二十二至二十三讲中,麦克沃特教授主要研究p ins和克里奥尔语。当人们在没有明确教导的情况下快速学习语言时,就会开发出一个pidgin版本。然后,如果他们需要每天使用这个pidgin,它将成为一种真正的语言,一种克里奥尔语。有些人认为黑人英语是一个克里奥尔语,麦克沃特教授就这个问题讲了一个讲座。



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