From the Back Cover
Understand the science behind human language Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Whether you′re currently enrolled in a course or just want to explore the subject, Linguistics For Dummies helps you understand some of the primary streams of linguistics: what language is for (communication), how language works (pattern formation), what language reveals about the mind (cognition), and how written language shapes society (technology). Get to know the basics — determine the traits that all languages share and get to know the design features which ensure that language can convey meaning Discover the building blocks of language — investigate how individual speech sounds combine to form words, which form sentences, and how those are strung together to make conversation Explore the evolution of language — consider how new languages are born, chart how language changes over time, and examine how languages are lost Study the relationship between the human brain and language — find out how children and adults learn language and how language activates your brain Delve into the written word — see how different writing systems develop, how writing a language down changes it, and how it changes you! Open the book and find: The architecture of words How linguistics categorizes into grammatical categories What makes a conversation tick The social variables that affect language How linguistic archeology connects Sanskrit and English Why dying languages matter and how they can be saved What brain damage does to language How electronic writing streamlines language Learn: The components of any language Language′s social dimensions What language reveals about the human brain How writing changes a language
About the Author
Strang Burton is a linguist with the Stolo nation and has taught linguistics at a number of universities. Rose–Marie Dechaine and Eric Vatikiotis–Bateson are professors of linguistics at the University of British Columbia.