Having studied linguistics only a few years after this book was first published, I found it a wonderful way to refresh those basic elements and terms that, after a decade, I had lost touch with. It should also prove to be an excellent primer or introduction for anyone contemplating the study of linguistics, or of any language.
Burgess' prose can sometimes surpass elegance, and in that case foreign readers of English may find this volume more of a struggle. The rich vocabulary and subtle humour, while aiding the native speaker of English through a sometimes dry topic, may prove even more of a hindrance for those approaching English as a second language. However, for the teacher of a foreign language and EFL in particular, the book provides a large number of examples that can be used in the classroom to guide any learner.
This book is a boon for any enthusiast of language, and a must for anyone who works in the field of language acquisition.