What Is This Thing Called Language?

Front Cover
Macmillan International Higher Education, Nov 1, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 272 pages
Language is a complex and ever-evolving phenomenon, but it is one that deeply defines us all. So, What Is This Thing Called Language? Illustrating how it is used in different ways and in varied contexts, this book offers a thought-provoking and entertaining guide through the mysteries of language.

The new edition:
– Explores the basics of the language systems of sounds, vocabulary and grammar
– Explains a basic framework of linguistics and language analysis Examines the written and spoken word in a range of different languages
– Uses intriguing anecdotes and interesting examples to unpack complex ideas
– Offers study-friendly features, including reflective questions, further reading suggestions as well as glossaries of linguistic terminology and key linguists

With new and expanded material on a range of topics, from language variation and culture to second language acquisition and bilingualism, this is an 'un-put-down-able' introduction for all students of language and linguistics.
 

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Contents

the stuff that surrounds us
1
a personal account
4
1 What is this thing called language?
5
2 The sound system
19
3 The lexical system
38
4 The grammatical system
62
5 Doing things with spoken language
80
6 Doing things with written language
108
8 Language at play
144
9 Language culture and identity
161
10 Language in a global context
179
Books to read on long plane flight
203
Key figures
205
Glossary
217
References
234
Index
241

7 Firstlanguage and secondlanguage acquisition
127

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

DAVID NUNAN is Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Anaheim University, USA, and Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong.

Bibliographic information