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14 Reviews
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good All Rounder
This book provides easy going summaries of everything to do with language. Students of linguistics will find it useful as it contains a background to all the usual things included in a linguistics degree from phonology to the origins of language. Invaluable.
Published on 30 May 2007 by Emma

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The text is soooo small
Be warned - the text on the pages are sooo small, trying to read it causes extreme eye strain and I constantly fall asleep trying to read it. I bought it for my uni course, but in all truth, have struggled to read enough of it to be of any use.
Published 19 months ago by Nel


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good All Rounder, 30 May 2007
This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
This book provides easy going summaries of everything to do with language. Students of linguistics will find it useful as it contains a background to all the usual things included in a linguistics degree from phonology to the origins of language. Invaluable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How language workd, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
As with all books by David Crystal - a serious subject explained in a fascinating way and with added humour throughout - a must for all students of languages and English at school and university....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The text is soooo small, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
Be warned - the text on the pages are sooo small, trying to read it causes extreme eye strain and I constantly fall asleep trying to read it. I bought it for my uni course, but in all truth, have struggled to read enough of it to be of any use.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, 12 Mar 2013
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Crystal has this enviable ability to explain what is fundamentally complex clearly and comprehensively. Language and languages were my professional business when working. I just wish that much of what he has to say had been available when I was still active in the field. His comments on what should be taught in schools are especially valuable as the UK at last seems to be stirring out of its linguistic imperialism and indolence. Should be required reading for all involved in teaching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect one-volume introduction to the study of language, 12 Jan 2012
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P. Smith - See all my reviews
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Why do languages die? How are they born? How do we make speech sounds? How do we write? All these questions and many more are asked and answered in this fascinating book by one of the countries leading authorities on the english language - David Crystal.

I actually only bought this as it was on my university reading list, but I have since developed a keen interest in language and ended up buying his other book 'stories of English'!. (equally worthy of your hard earned cash)

And to the negative reviewer below; this is a book about how language works, not about how the study of language works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Crystal., 17 Dec 2014
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E. Cooper (Poitiers, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
Very interesting, often fun, written in classic Crystal style. Wonderful.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For what it is., 29 April 2012
This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
David Crystal describes the his preface the the what this book is. It is a collection of short essays, very clearly written, on 73 topic mostly headed "How....' They are carefully arranged but not designed for continuous reading. The essays are not "encyclopaedia entries", more overviews of the topic in hand... for example 'How Language Changes'. Students (and teachers) will find it a good starting point for a topic of interest. But there lies its weakness... It's bibliography is brief and it's index is conventional.

I tackled several of the essays which interested me. Some I followed up on Google. Others, which I casually dipped into, added to my stock of 'could come in useful' things to know. The book is worth a place on my shelves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Sep 2014
This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
very happy with this
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good read, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
an accompaniment to my OU course. Insightful read into how language works and would recommend to anyone interested in the subject or studying at A level or above.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 Nov 2014
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This review is from: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die (Paperback)
Very good.
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