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Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication Paperback – 3 Aug 2001

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Paperback, 3 Aug 2001
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"This book provides a basic orientation to linguistic science, primarily through a descriptive linguistic approach. Its intended purpose is to serve as an introductory text to linguistics, and its clarity in writing style and tight organization are obvious strengths in serving this purpose."-- "Journal of the American Speech and Hearing Association" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The late Adrian Akmajian was Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. Richard A. Demers is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. Ann K. Farmer is an Information Engineer at Google. Robert M. Harnish is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Excellent intro text 24 Dec. 2003
By Magellan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the second edition and fourth printing of this popular text by Akmajian, Demers, and Harnish at the University of Arizona. Although this text is now over 15 years old, it's still a fine introduction to the subject. One nice thing about the book is that the prose is not too technical for the beginning reader while providing excellent coverage of the important concepts and technical points. This is often a problem with linguistics texts since, unlike other technical subjects, most people have little or no background in linguistics before taking their first real course in the subject, and having previously learned a foreign language isn't as helpful as many students might think since much of linguistics, especially in the transformational grammar and generative grammar and analytical syntax areas, is a highly technical, formal, and even mathematical discipline now.
As I am mainly a neuroscientist and secondarily a linguist, I was most interested in Part 3 of this book. The first two parts present the usual linguistics topics such as phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language variation, and evolution. Part 3 deals with the area of Psycholinguistics, and there are four chapters discussing language from the standpoint of Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology. The four chapters are: Pragmatics: The Study of Language Use and Communication; Speech Production and Comprehension; Language Acquisition in Chimp and Child;, and Language and the Brain. The chapter on the brain might be a little too basic for neuroscience students, but it's an excellent introduction for the linguistics students, and I noticed that a number of the classic experiments such as the famous "Wada test" and dichotic listening experiments were discussed, as well as topics like conduction aphasia, Broca's aphasia, Wernicke's aphasia, hemispheric localization and dominance, and so on.
Overall still a fine text and worth picking up used if you can find it, when it will be bargain for the price.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Great book! 8 Feb. 2008
By M. Gongora - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great book... I had to read it in a period of 9 weeks; and that is a lot for me, I like taking my time, but with this book I only wanted to keep going. The definitions were simple and I did not have to go back and read again because I got lost somewhere in the text.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great book 17 Jan. 2014
By Brontina - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I studied this book at the university and loved it! It is clear and complete, a wonderful introduction to the study of linguistics. I would recommend it to everybody. You don't need to be a scholar or a linguistic student to enjoy it and to get a better understanding of how language works. The only critic I can make is that the language analyzed is English and that more comparisons with other languages could be made.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wordy and Dense 7 Nov. 2013
By Mary - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very dense with content. It really is a good textbook. It does, however, get very wordy and hard to understand in some places. The best part about this book is the practice exercises at the end of each chapter. Doing those exercises is really the best way to gauge whether or not you've understood the gist of the chapter.
A great read! 22 April 2014
By rico - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been studying languages for a few years on my own and had never touched upon basic linguistic concept. This was a very beneficial read. It begins with a basic overview of linguistic study and moves on to morphology and the formation of words, the way which they are formed and change, and rules that govern them. Next we break into phonetics and the study of sound structure, the vocal tract and the way which different sounds are produced from a linguistic and anatomic view. It touches on the International Phonetic Alphabet as the phonemic transcription device and touches on the sounds it uses, consonants and vowels. Phonology is introduced as a description of the sounds made with the IPA and sets rules for the sounds (long vs short vowel). Of course the main focus of the book is in English and we are advised that letters do not sounds the same in every language yet they can be shown with the IPA.

I don't want to make this review too long, but it goes on to touch on syntax , semtantics, pragmatics, language variation and changes and finally on to the psychological aspects of linguistic study which includes speech production and comprehension, language acquisition (in children) , and touches on various thought of language and the brain. Many of these areas overlap and are touched on and collaborated with different sciences including psychologist, neurologist, and other professions involved in the cognitive sciences.
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