• The Modern Scholar

  • A History of the English Language
  • By: Michael Drout
  • Narrated by: Michael Drout
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Lecture
  • Release date: 22-09-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (29 ratings)


Professor Drout addresses the foundation of language and its connection to specific portions of the brain. The components of language are explained in easy-to-understand terms and the progression of the language from Germanic to Old, Middle, and Modern English is fully illustrated - including such revolutionary language upheavals as those brought about by the Norman Conquest and the Great Vowel Shift.One of the most interesting aspects of the English language lies in its variants, such as the "soda" vs. "pop" debate and the place of African-American English in modern culture. These and other dialectual curiosities are looked at in detail and placed in the context of today's world. Finally, Professor Drout examines the future, not only of the English language, but of all the world's languages.
©2006 Michael Drout; (P)2006 Recorded Books
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Regular price: £48.39

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Heather on 05-01-14

Well up to this speaker's high standard - enjoy!

Ignore the tedious intro by the old buffer. It's not a fair representation of the recording itself, which is very good indeed. I can't find a way to skip the intro, but the main lectures are well worth waiting for!

The lecturer's heavy American accent is hard to take at first, but the scholarship draws you in. Drout is so besotted with his subject that you will be taken to a new level of understanding, even if you're not a specialist and this is new for you. The material is uncompromisingly academic - he pulls no punches when it comes to some complex linguistic material - but the way in which it is presented is so enthusiastic and informal that it's like listening to a very intelligent friend who just happens to be obsessed with the English language and its development.

Tolkein fans will soon realise that they have a kindred spirit in Dr Drout. His lectures on fantasy and science fiction extends this and his Anglo Saxon audio lectures are also great and all on Audible.

In this cynical and shallow world, it's lovely to come across real academic depth matched with sheer enthusiasm for the subject. If this blend appeals to you too, prepare for some serious fun!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Dot Marshall-Gent on 23-12-13

Fascinating and fun!

What made the experience of listening to The Modern Scholar the most enjoyable?

Professor Drought's easy delivery and sense of humour make the journey through the English language's history and technical bits enjoyable as well as enlightening. I loved this listen.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Maria on 02-11-10

Hits all the right marks

I taught a similar course and we actually used the same program - phonetics, history, and then discussions about present day English. I found some of the discussion about code switching appealing (politically) but not always convincing. Drout prefaced the section by saying that many linguists don't agree and I appreciated that honesty. I found the explanations of the Great Vowel Shift and Norman Conquest particularly interesting. More than anything, the lectures were compelling, conversational in tone, and interesting -- this is not your typical boring history class! Great intro course for students and anyone interested in our fascinating language!

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bryan on 25-02-10

Quite enjoyable

The professor has a quiet but enthusiastic way of presenting his material. He held my interest throughout the course. Fortunately I was alone when I practiced my sounds, but I feel I learned a lot about a language I take for granted. I recommend this book to anyone curious about English and about language in general. Not a definitive piece, but one that will please people who just want to know.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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