Talking Back, Talking Black
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Talking Back, Talking Black : Truths About America's Lingua Franca

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"Superb." --Steven Pinker "In Talking Back, Talking Black, John McWhorter, the maestro at communicating linguistics to the public, succeeds in helping the reader to 'actually hear Black English in a new way,' while hipping linguists to some features of this vibrant variety they might not have considered before." --John R. Rickford, former president of the Linguistic Society of America and coauthor of Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English "McWhorter debunks some of our most persistent myths about language." --NPR "McWhorter makes all the right arguments, and he makes them clearly." --New Yorker "Do you think Black English is a 'dialect' full of 'mistakes'? You're likely to change your mind about its 'languageness' after reading Mr. McWhorter." --Wall Street Journal It has now been almost fifty years since linguistic experts began studying Black English as a legitimate speech variety, arguing to the public that it is different from Standard English, not a degradation of it. Yet false assumptions and controversies still swirl around what it means to speak and sound "black."
In his first book devoted solely to the form, structure, and development of Black English, John McWhorter clearly explains its fundamentals and rich history, while carefully examining the cultural, educational, and political issues that have undermined recognition of this transformative, empowering dialect. Talking Back, Talking Black takes us on a fascinating tour of a nuanced and complex language that has moved beyond America's borders to become a dynamic force for today's youth culture around the world. John McWhorter teaches linguistics, Western civilization, music history, and American studies at Columbia University. A New York Times best-selling author and TED speaker, he is a columnist for Time and regular contributor to the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. His books on language include The Power of Babel, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, What Language Is, The Language Hoax, and Words on the Move.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 127 x 191 x 17.78mm | 270g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1942658206
  • 9781942658207
  • 1,319,522

Table of contents

Introduction

Chapter One: Black English is Complicated
A Broken Piano Is Still Broken, Right?: What You Haven't Been Told About Black English Grammar

Chapter Two: A Person Can Indeed Sound Black
Do Black People Simply Have Southern Accents?

Chapter Three: Speaking Black or Speaking "Minstrel"?
"I'se Regusted!": Didn't White People Make Black English Up For Fun?

Chapter Four: But You Can't Talk That Way on a Job Interview!
Why Americans Don't Understand That People Can Speak Two Ways

Chapter Five: Why Can't They Just Talk Like Everybody Else?
Because the World Isn't Talking Like Everybody Else: The New No-Name Languages Worldwide

References
Index
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Review quote

Praise for Talking Back, Talking Black "Talking Back, Talking Black is [McWhorter's] case for the acceptance of black English as a legitimate American dialect... He ably and enthusiastically breaks down the mechanics." --New York Times Book Review "Drawing on research, popular culture, and his own expertise as a linguist and black American, McWhorter conveys the roots and richness of the dialect that has come out of the experiences of black Americans... [Talking Back, Talking Black] is an engaging look at the English language as spoken by many black Americans as well as the long history of stereotyping that has prevented an objective analysis of a rich language tradition." --Booklist "A vibrant separation of an African-American vernacular tradition from the thickets of contemporary racial debate." --Kirkus Reviews "Well suited for those who have an interest in black studies, education, history, language, or cultural studies." --Library Journal "Linguistics fans will be enthralled by McWhorter's fascinating and logically presented study." --Shelf Awareness for Readers "Superb." --Steven Pinker "In Talking Back, Talking Black, John McWhorter, the maestro at communicating linguistics to the public, succeeds in helping the reader to 'actually hear Black English in a new way,' while hipping linguists to some features of this vibrant variety they might not have considered before." --John R. Rickford, former president of the Linguistic Society of America and coauthor of Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English Praise for John McWhorter "McWhorter debunks some of our most persistent myths about language." --NPR "McWhorter makes all the right arguments, and he makes them clearly." --New Yorker "McWhorter's prose crackles, his pop-cultural references pop." --San Diego Union-Tribune "With his passionate eloquence, [McWhorter] makes readers glimpse the wonder of languages." --Newsday "McWhorter's goal is to shine some light on topics he feels that authors of the typical 'grand old history' of English, with their 'fetish' for vocabulary at the expense of grammar, have left out." --New York Times Book Review "Do you think Black English is a 'dialect' full of 'mistakes'? You're likely to change our mind about its 'languageness' after reading Mr. McWhorter." --Wall Street Journal
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About John McWhorter

John McWhorter teaches linguistics, Western civilization, music history, and American studies at Columbia University. A New York Times best-selling author and TED speaker, he is a columnist for Time and regular contributor to the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. His books on language include The Power of Babel, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, What Language Is, The Language Hoax, Words on the Move, and Talking Back, Talking Black.
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Rating details

345 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 30% (102)
4 46% (159)
3 21% (73)
2 3% (9)
1 1% (2)
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