How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live Or Die

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Overlook Press, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 500 pages
16 Reviews
"This book is not about music, cookery, or sex. But it is about how we talk about music, cookery, and sex--or, indeed, anything at all." Language is so fundamental to everyday life that we take it for granted. But as linguist Crystal makes clear, language is an extremely powerful tool that defines the human species. Crystal offers general readers a personal tour of the intricate workings of language. He moves effortlessly from big subjects like the origins of languages, how children learn to speak, and how conversation works to subtle but revealing points such as how email differs from both speech and writing in important ways, how language reveals a person's social status, and how we decide whether a word is rude or polite. Broad and deep, but with a light and witty touch, this is a layman's guide to how we communicate with one another.--From publisher description.

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This is an interesting and easy to read book. - Goodreads
An excellent introduction/supplement on linguistics. - Goodreads
A good primary reference book on language/linguistics - Goodreads

Review: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die

User Review  - Leasha - Goodreads

Imagine an intro to linguistics book without the practice problems. Yup. This is the book in which Crystal says as little as possible - while still offering a coherent overview - about as many topics ... Read full review

Review: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die

User Review  - John Pyrce - Goodreads

Nice overview of linguistics; not much coverage of the origins of language. Long survey of languages across the world and major language families. A bit less controversial than Pinker, but more staid as well. Read full review

Contents

Preface xi
Introducing language 1 How what works? l
How to treat body language 5
Copyright

72 other sections not shown

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About the author (2006)

David Crystal is the leading authority on language and the best-loved author of books including The Stories of English, Shakespeare's Words, Language and the Internet, Language Death, and, most recently, he entered the lists with The Shakespeare Miscellany. Editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and The Penguin Encyclopedia, and a professor of linguistics, he received the Order of the British Empire for his services to the English language.

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