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Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language

Journey through the fascinating terrain of linguistics: the scientific study of human language. In this exciting 36-lecture course taught by acclaimed linguist and Professor John McWhorter, investigate the elements and purposes of language, from its fundamental building blocks to its uses as a nuanced social tool. Among the many aspects and issues of language you explore are the basic sounds from which human language is built, why learning a second language can be so difficult, and how writing systems have evolved. Rich with insight, Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language gives you a newfound appreciation for the mysterious machinery built into us all.

1. What Is Linguistics?

2. The Sounds of Language—Consonants

3. The Other Sounds—Vowels

4. In the Head versus On the Lips

5. How to Make a Word

6. The Chomskyan Revolution

7. Deep Structure and Surface Structure

8. The On-Off Switches of Grammar

9. Shades of Meaning and Semantic Roles

10. From Sentence to Storytelling

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