Lecture 25: A New Perspective on the Story of English
We trace English back to its earliest discernible roots in Proto-Indo-European and follow its fascinating development, including an ancient encounter with a language possibly related to Arabic and Hebrew.
🎧 Lecture 9 of The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter
Lecture 9: Language Families—Tracing Indo-European
Linguists have reconstructed the proto-language of the Indo-Europeans by comparing the modern languages. Applying this process, we learn the Proto-Indo-European word for sister-in-law that was spoken 6,000 years ago.
🎧 Lectures 6-8 of The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter
Lecture 6: How Language Changes—Many Directions
The first language has evolved into 6,000 because language change takes place in many directions. Latin split in this way into the Romance languages as changes proceeded differently in each area where the Romans brought Latin.
Lecture 7: How Language Changes—Modern English
As recently as Shakespeare, English words had meanings different enough to interfere with our understanding of his language today. Even by the 1800s, Jane Austen's work is full of sentences that would now be considered errors.
Lecture 8: Language Families—Indo-European
The first of four lectures on language families introduces Indo-European, which probably began in the southern steppes of Russia around 4000 B.C. and then spread westward to most of Europe and eastward to Iran and India.