‘The non-standard dialects are not inferior… they often have features that the standard dialect lacks.’ – John McWhorter
In this insightful discussion, linguist and professor John McWhorter unravels the complexities of languages, their evolution, and societal perceptions around them.
From the irregularities in English to the challenges of learning Navajo, McWhorter offers a deep dive into the fascinating world of linguistics.
Table of Contents
- Linguistic Expertise Doesn’t Equal Proficiency
- The Everest of Languages
- Gap Between Written and Spoken Language
- Language Loss Does Not Mean Cultural Loss
- ‘Correct’ Language vs Dialects
- Gender Information in Languages
- English Irregularities
- Language Genders and Evolution
- Accents and Imitation
- Lack of Progress in Linguistic Studies
- AI and Language Understanding
- ‘Pronoun Trouble’ Project
Linguistic Expertise Doesn’t Equal Proficiency
Despite being a linguist, John McWhorter admits to overusing certain expressions as fillers in his speech.
This debunks the assumption that language experts necessarily have superior language usage skills.
The Everest of Languages
John McWhorter expresses his interest in learning Navajo due to its complexity and lack of regular verbs and tones.
He likens mastering this language to scaling Mount Everest, highlighting the challenge it presents.