The Story of Human Language, Parts I-III

The Story of Human Language, Parts I-III

DVD - 2004
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Presents lectures on the history of language.
Publisher: Chantilly, VA : Teaching Co., [2004]
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9781565859487
Branch Call Number: DVD 417.7 MCWHO
Characteristics: Laser optical
6 videodiscs (approximately 1,080 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in. + 3 course guidebooks (22 cm)
Additional Contributors: Teaching Company
Notes: Packaged in 3 containers, 25 x 19 cm


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Apr 09, 2017

This lecture series is very entertaining and quite educational most times. I stopped watching after a while because the lecturer makes so darn many provable unforced errors. I speak German fluently and am pretty competent in French, so I found it discouraging that Prof. McWhorter would make numerous silly errors that made it obvious to me that his claims to be knowledgeable of these languages was highly suspect. For example pronouncing the French word faisons (as in "we do") FAY-son. Eek! It is pronounced fuz-on, French 1a dude. I stopped believing his claims when he went on and on about how this African/French creole dropped the "ent" from the third person plural of verbs. Ouch! Dumb! Again, no French person EVER voices such "ent" verb endings (any six year old in Lyon would know that) and so much for his goofy subsequent claim. So, my faith in what I was learning started to erode as I realized this gentleman's mastery of detail (the hallmark of academic pursuit) was suspect. But he is entertaining. Just be careful how much you buy into.

Overall: B-, entertaining, often funny even slightly perverse, but technical errors annoying and undermine credibility.

Jul 15, 2016

This topic was not for me. It would probably be very interesting for someone already involved or interested in this topic.
The speaker does go in to detail about the origins or words and word sounds and how speech is expected to progress.


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