Language Interrupted: Signs of Non-Native Acquisition in Standard Language Grammars

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9780195309805: Language Interrupted: Signs of Non-Native Acquisition in Standard Language Grammars

In Language Interrupted, linguist John McWhorter agrees that all languages are complex, but questions whether or not they are all equally complex. The topic of complexity has become a hot issue in recent years, particularly in creole studies, historical linguistics, and language contact.

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Review:

The main virture of this book is that it is written in a clear way and is very readable in spite of the fact that McWhorter discusses a large amount of data from a variety of sources. Chapters 4-8, the test cases for the main claim of the book, are organized in a similar fashion and contain tables where data from languages are presented in a way that helps the reader to follow the analysis. This is important as the cases discussed come from different language families, so it is unlikely that the reader will be familiar with all of them. McWhorter's writing is engaging; he succeeds in looking at specific, local cases from a broad perspective and draws parallels between them. The presentation of the data is lucid and everything is connected to the central line of argumentation of the book in a direct way. (Linguist List)

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