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by Steven Pinker
An in-depth look at the evolutionary adaptation of language use and how we create language in the moment. Incredible book, but on the more challenging side.
Offers an amazing collection of lectures from university professors of all disciplines. They are available to buy as CDs and DVDs, to download, and to stream. Many libraries have them. (The Beverly Hills Public Library has a huge collection.)
The two lectures below are highly recommended.
by Professor Seth Lerer
"Sixteen centuries ago a wave of settlers from northern Europe came to the British Isles speaking a mix of Germanic dialects thick with consonants and complex grammatical forms. Today we call that dialect Old English, the ancestor of the language nearly one in five people in the world speaks every day."
by Professor John McWharter
Dr. John McWhorter, one of America's leading linguists and a frequent commentator on network television and National Public Radio, addresses these and other questions as he takes you on an in-depth, 36-lecture tour of the development of human language, showing how a single tongue spoken 150,000 years ago has evolved into the estimated 6,000 languages used around the world today.