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The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language

The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language
Author: John McWhorter
ISBN 13: 9780060520854
ISBN 10: 6052085
Edition: Softcover Edition
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: 2003-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
List Price: $13.99

There are approximately six thousand languages on Earth today, each a descendant of the tongue first spoken by Homo sapiens some 150,000 years ago. While laying out how languages mix and mutate over time, linguistics professor John McWhorter reminds us of the variety within the species that speaks them, and argues that, contrary to popular perception, language is not immutable and hidebound, but a living, dynamic entity that adapts itself to an ever-changing human environment.

Full of humor and imaginative insight, The Power of Babel draws its illustrative examples from languages around the world, including pidgins, Creoles, and nonstandard dialects.