Language Play

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University of Chicago Press, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 248 pages
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In this exhilarating and often hilarious book, David Crystal examines why we devote so much time and energy to language games, how professionals make a career of them, and how young children instinctively take to them. Crystal makes a simple argument-that since playing with language is so natural, a natural way to learn language is to play with it-while he discusses puns, crosswords, lipograms, comic alphabets, rhymes, funny voices taken from dialect and popular culture, limericks, anagrams, scat singing, and much more.
 

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a good and humorous look at the way we look at language and how we learn it. Read full review

Contents

THE LUDIC VIEW
1
THE AMATEURS
9
ENJOYING THE JOKE
12
DIALECT HUMOUR
18
FUNNY SOUNDS AND VOICES
24
NONCE WORDS AND MEANINGS
30
SOUNDS AND SPELLINGS
36
LIMERICK LAND
45
THE COMIC WRITERS
127
THE AUTHORS
137
THE ARTISTS
148
THE THEOLOGIANS
155
THE CHILDREN
159
GROWING UP
164
THE LANGUAGE OF THE PLAYGROUND
173
TOWARDS EDUCATION
178

EVEN TOTAL NONSENSE
49
THE ENTHUSIASTS
54
MISSIONS IMPOSSIBLE
56
THE LUDIC TOWER OF BABEL
61
BUILDING HIGHER TOWERS
72
GEMATRIA AND ITS LEGACY
80
GRID GAMES
83
AND FINALLY
89
THE PROFESSIONALS
93
THE ADVERTISERS
94
THE HEADLINE WRITERS
101
THE COMEDIANS
105
THE COLLECTORS
116
THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION
182
THE READERS
183
THE LUDIC GAP
184
THE MISSING PLAY
188
FROM CREATIVITY TO INTERVENTION
195
OTHER DOMAINS?
204
A NEW CLIMATE?
211
THE FUTURE
218
WHY PLAY?
219
THE FINAL STEP
222
NOTES
227
INDEX
238
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

David Crystal is the Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. His previous books include The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, English as a Global Language, A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, Language Death, and Words on Words, the last published by the University of Chicago Press.

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