Christopher Hall's book is the best new introduction to linguistics that I have seen in decades. It is engagingly written without talking down to the reader and it covers all the subparts of the field in a comprehensive and even-handed manner. I plan to use it the next time that I teach an introductory course at Washington.' Professor Frederick J. Newmeyer, University of Washington 'With apt examples from novels and newspapers, courtroom trials and telephone conversations, the lowly and the mighty, his book repeatedly startles as it casts light on language. This is a bright, humorous, and completely accessible tour of 21st-century linguistics.' Professor Edward Finegan, University of Southern California This book introduces the fundamentals of human language from a linguistic point of view, using examples drawn from everyday life to aid comprehension, and encouraging critical thinking throughout. Besides presenting the fundamental building blocks of language and explaining how these function, the book also introduces other key elements of the discipline of linguistics, including language acquisition, applied linguistics, psycholinguistics and discourse analysis. Packed full of examples, this is the ideal introduction to language for those who are interested in studying linguistics, have already started a course, or just want to study at home.