There are approximately six thousand languages on Earth today, each
a descendant of the tongue first spoken by Homo sapiens some 150,000
years ago. While laying out how languages mix and mutate over time,
linguistics professor John McWhorter reminds us of the variety within
the species that speaks them, and argues that, contrary to popular
perception, language is not immutable and hidebound, but a living,
dynamic entity that adapts itself to an ever-changing human
Full of humor and imaginative insight, The Power of Babel draws its illustrative examples from languages around the world, including pidgins, Creoles, and nonstandard dialects.