Album cover of The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter

🎧 Lectures 10-12 of The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter

Listened to Lectures 10-12: The Story of Human Language by John McWhorterJohn McWhorter from The Great Courses: Linguistics

Lecture 10: Language Families—Diversity of Structures
Semitic languages assign basic meanings to three-consonant sequences and create words by altering the vowels around them. In Sino-Tibetan languages, a sentence tends to leave more to context than we often imagine possible.

Lecture 11: Language Families—Clues to the Past
The distribution of language families shows how humans have spread through migration. We trace the Austronesian language family to its origins on Formosa. Similar work sheds light on the history of Africa and North America.

Lecture 12: The Case Against the World’s First Language
A few linguists have claimed to reconstruct words from the world's first language, but this work is extremely controversial. Professor McWhorter presents the case against this theory, called the "Proto-World" hypothesis.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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