John McWhorter

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de diciembre de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

America Has More Than One Spanglish

It’s easy to think that where language is concerned, in the United States we have a sort of vanilla, mainstream English and then some minor variations upon it — Southern, Upper Midwest, Southern California “Valley” maybe. Our dialects overall aren’t as different from one another as the various ones in Britain — Cockney, Scottish, West Country — because English hasn’t been here long enough for the dialects to drift their different ways to such an extent. Modern media makes our dialects even more uniform than they would be anyway. And, it seems, immigrants bring their languages here, only to see them blow away in the wind after a generation or two.…  Seguir leyendo »

“Tell me, why should we care?” he asks.

It’s a question I can expect whenever I do a lecture about the looming extinction of most of the world’s 6,000 languages, a great many of which are spoken by small groups of indigenous people. For some reason the question is almost always posed by a man seated in a row somewhere near the back.

Asked to elaborate, he says that if indigenous people want to give up their ancestral language to join the modern world, why should we consider it a tragedy? Languages have always died as time has passed. What’s so special about a language?…  Seguir leyendo »