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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language [Hardcover]

David Crystal
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language 5.0 out of 5 stars (11)
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Book Description

26 Nov 1987
Where did human language come from? How many languages are there? How do we acquire our first language or learn a second one? The highly acclaimed Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language by David Crystal answers these and other questions about language. From hieroglyphics to trucker talk, from Shakespeare in pidgin to sneezing in Tongan, this is a stimulating and richly illustrated guide to the variety, structure, history and theory of language. David Crystal not only conveys the intrinsic fascination of the subject, but also its enormous complexity. The visual dimension of the encyclopedia throws a fresh light on what has traditionally been treated as a non-visual subject, with many drawings, photographs, maps, display boxes and extracts all integrated within the text. In addition, appendices, meticulous cross-referencing and indexing ensure that this is an authoritative work of reference for students, professionals and general readers alike.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (26 Nov 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521264383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521264389
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 22.1 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

David Crystal works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. He published the first of his 100 or so books in 1964, and became known chiefly for his research work in English language studies. He held a chair at the University of Reading for 10 years, and is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor.

Product Description

Review

' ... an ingenious tour de force ... a stunningly diverse linguistic menu' Robert Burchfield, The Times

' ... a celebration of language in all its oddity, beauty, fun, astonishing complexity and limitless variety' The London Review of Books

' ... imaginative and arresting ... deserves shelf-space in every home interested in language' The Times Literary Supplement

'Those who want to make pronouncements about language in the future must pass the test of knowing what is in the book' Dwight Bollinger

Book Description

The highly acclaimed Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language by David Crystal is a stimulating and richly illustrated guide to the variety, structure, history and theory of language of all countries. In addition, appendices, meticulous cross-referencing and indexing ensure that this is an authoritative work of reference for students, professionals and general readers alike.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a mammoth work (in a good way!) 20 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The overwhelming effect this book leaves the reader is amazement of the scholarship of its single author, who manages to cover everything you could possibly include under the heading 'language' in a single volume. To give you some idea, the indexes and glossary of the 65 chapters information take up nearly 40 pages. Although the depth he can cover everything in is therefore limited, even in 450-odd large pages, a good proportion of what is there is absolutely fascinating and of interest to anyone who uses language (i.e. everyone).
The book makes excellent use of boxes of information and visuals in full colour such as maps, graphs and photos. Like any good encyclopaedia, it can be dipped into almost randomly with the guarantee that some interesting titbit will stick in your head. More unusually, the fact that it doesn't use an A to Z format means that it can quite easily be read through as a general introduction to linguistics. In a sense it could be just as usefully called an encyclopedia of linguistics, as it provides as much information on research and theories of language as it does on the language itself. This shouldn't be taken to mean any of this would only be of interest to the professionally interested, though. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in what is going on around them, and even more so to any teacher or student of language or linguistics.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is addictive! 28 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book was recommended to me as part of my Linguistics course at university. It has proved very useful for my course (not boring like other Linguistics books can be!), is extremely interesting and contains lots of pictures! My only complaint is that my studies take me AGES because I can't stop looking through it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for more than just Language Students 3 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a great refernce guide for students of Language, Sociology, Psycology and probably other subjects too. It's fresh approach and easy to use page format makes it interesting to read as a whole. From Latin and Greek to Bush Negro and Yoda this has to be the most comprehensive guide I've encountered. It explians word order and grammar using examples which will engage most students .
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Informative and Comprehensive 29 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is not only a fantastic reference book, but also a great read! The pages are covered with interesting graphs, diagrams, facts, photographs, examples and newspaper clippings. Every aspect of the English Language is covered from alphabet to the formation of words. This is my favourite book and definitely worth buying for anybody who loves words.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tour de force 6 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent introduction to a fascinating and complex subject. Crystal writes clearly and produces a well rounded guide. Highly recommended as an introduction.
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