APPLE Lecture Series 2022 Presents Dr. John McWhorter
Title: What Will Language Be Like in 2100AD?
This talk will explore what the world will be like in terms of the nature and distribution of its languages by the turn of the next century. There will be a great many fewer languages spoken, with many preserved as "taught" rather than "lived" languages. The penetration of English will continue and increase, despite that Mandarin Chinese will be spoken by more people. New varieties of urban languages will emerge, as the product of immigrant generations influenced by the speech of both their parents and their multiethnic peers. Between these and other factors, the language landscape of earth will be in many ways unrecognizable compared to the current one.
John H McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He earned his B.A. from Rutgers, his M.A. from New York University, and his Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford. Professor McWhorter is an author of more than a dozen books including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, Losing the Race: Self Sabotage in Black America and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English. In 2016 he published Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally). He also regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines including The New Republic and The Atlantic. Students might be particularly interested in his article on how immigrants change languages in The Atlantic and an essay on policing the "N-word" in Time.
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