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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
I bought this book the day I began my English Language and Linguistics degree, as, despite studying English Language fairly in-depth, I'd had no experience of Linguistics and didn't really understand what it was. This book was incredible; insightful, easy to read, fascinating and incredibly worth-while. If you have even the remotest interest as to why and how we are able...
Published on 13 Sept. 2012 by Ngaio

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful primer
Rather heavy going and not as enjoyable an introduction to this fascinating topic as I had hoped. Nevertheless, very useful and it fits into my handbag!
Published 23 months ago by GED


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 13 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I bought this book the day I began my English Language and Linguistics degree, as, despite studying English Language fairly in-depth, I'd had no experience of Linguistics and didn't really understand what it was. This book was incredible; insightful, easy to read, fascinating and incredibly worth-while. If you have even the remotest interest as to why and how we are able to communicate, I thoroughly recommend giving this a read! Thank you, Matthews, and congratulations on a truly exceptional introduction!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As the title says: A very short introduction, 15 Nov. 2008
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Nadine Awde "nebreek" (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
As the title suggests, this is a very short introduction to Linguistics. What I particularly liked about this book is that it gives insight to what this study is in general about. It also makes the reader wonder about many aspects of one's language that may be taken for granted but in reality are very sophisticated. I recommend this book for absolute beginners in the field of linguistics. Otherwise, it may be wiser to invest in a book that covers the subject in more detail.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linguistics - the science and the mystery, 3 Oct. 2008
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Jon Chambers (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Linguistics (lin'gwistiks). Hmmm... not always such exciting stuff, judging by one particularly dull book read in student days. But this one is told with zest. It manages to let the reader approach the subject in a personal and meaningful way, and is a bit like sharing the voyage of discovery made by Humbert Humbert on the opening page of Lolita, where the obsessing narrator contemplates the tongue's subtly-shifting journey when pronouncing the name of his teenaged femme fatale.

Two maybe rather trivial things occurred to me while reading. First, how inadequate western alphabets are as systems of representing the myriad sounds produced in human speech (hence all those arcane symbols linguists use, most of which this keyboard is incapable of replicating.). Secondly, a question. Would a linguist as expert as P.H.Matthews be able to understand meaningful speech simply by studying its spectrogram?

Matthews is particularly interesting when dealing with the relationship between cultures and their language, and on vowel shifts (especially on the results of Labov's studies in the department stores of New York). Such modern, observable phenomena shed much-needed light on more distant equivalents like the Great Vowel Shift of Middle English.

Linguistics has often been described as the science of language. This book deals with the physics, biology, psychology and anthropology of speech. That it also deals with the mystery of language as well as the science is one of its great strengths. Sections on the origins of language and on language and the brain are intriguing if, necessarily, speculative. As good a taster as you're likely to meet even in so excellent a series as this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good one for new language learners., 6 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I have no intention of studying linguistics at an academic level and bought this book only to gain a basic understanding of language and of linguistic concepts to help me in my learning of portuguese.

I found this to be a light and entertaining read that has helped me to broaden my approach to picking up a new language.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Present, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I bought this for my cousin who is obsessed with linguistics and I started reading it myself and quite enjoyed it to be honest, I'd recommend for people like me who don't know much about linguistics because it changed my mind about the subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 25 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I have just started studying Linguistics, and this is one of the best books I could have bought, its is very broad and general in scope, but specific and scientific by example. Really good!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful primer, 3 May 2013
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This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Rather heavy going and not as enjoyable an introduction to this fascinating topic as I had hoped. Nevertheless, very useful and it fits into my handbag!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very basic but very interesting, 12 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
A very basic and brief introduction but the book provides a good overview of linguistics. This is only a small book, 125 pages, a lot of the content is common sense, but there is a section about the history of language which I found very interesting. Ideal book to begin with, it is easy to follow, but then I would purchase something bigger if you want to learn a more in depth knowledge of linguistics and language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good introductory text, 19 Nov. 2013
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I'm going to be study Human Communication Science so as a preparatory text this was great. For a taster of Linguistics this is perfect.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating subject, and this has whetted my appetite to explore it further, 8 Feb. 2015
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As a newcomer to the subject, this was an accessible entree to it. Time, and further reading, will tell how good a base it provides for further learning. It seemed though to cover a great deal and at least helped me understand the broad scope of the subject.
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Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by P. H. Matthews (Paperback - 24 April 2003)
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