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Language: The Basics [Paperback]

R.L. Trask
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: £15.99
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Book Description

18 Mar 1999 The Basics

What makes human language unique?
Do women speak differently from men?
Just what is the meaning of "meaning"?

Language: The Basics provides a concise introduction to the study of language. Written in an engaging and entertaining style, it encourages the reader to think about the way language works.

It features:

* chapters on 'Language in Use', 'Attitudes to Language', 'Children and Language' and 'Language, Mind and Brain'
* a section on sign language
* a glossary of key terms
* handy annotated guides to further reading.

Providing an accessible overview of a fascinating subject, this is an essential book for all students and anyone who's ever been accused of splitting an infinitive.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (18 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415340195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415340199
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Author

Why is the study of language so much fun?
The full title is 'Language: The Basics'. I call this my 'bedtime book', because my then editor told me that her boyfriend was reading the book in bed -- perhaps not exactly what she was hoping for when she commissioned the book. This is not a comprehensive textbook. It is a popular introduction, designed to persuade readers that the study of language is enjoyable and fascinating. How did h-dropping happen? How can the word 'nurse' wreck a social occasion? Do women really speak differently from men? Why is Norwegian two different languages? What are sign languages like? These are the kinds of questions examined in the book. I think you'll like it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the specialist 17 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
Trask's writing is brilliant. The author has an outstanding ability to explain his subject in an entertaining way. Trask is the unpretentious master of his subject and writes crystal clear English.

Although interested in the subject, I'm not a language student, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book (I've read it twice). The chapter on 'Attitudes to language' made me laugh and cheer, as Trask explodes a number of widely held myths. 'The uniqueness of human language' and 'Change in language' are other excellent chapters. It's a brilliant book and it's not just for specialists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 7 Nov 2010
By PC
Format:Paperback
The author reveals some fascinating facts about language, such as how and why the written and spoken versions diverge over time. I like his style of writing and the book provides a good introduction to linguistics for the general reader. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in linguistics, which should be everyone since we all use language.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good general introduction 28 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I am an Undergraduate Linguistics student at Durham and I found this book a very useful read over the summer before I started my course, I also wish I had read it during my A levels as it explores the fundimentals of analytical linguistics assisting the reader in particular with stylistic analysis and providing a through grounding in the basics of degree level work - read it, reduce it, learn it it is a massive help.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is written in a very easy to read interesting way with plenty of relevant and useful information given.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 7 April 2009
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating and engaging over-view of the study of language. While academically sound, with masses of suggestions for further reading, it is also a very accessible read - not at all intimidating for a complete beginner in language studies. Highly recommended.
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