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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language Paperback – 3 Jun 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 3 edition (3 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521736501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521736503
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 3.6 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'… a celebration of language in all its oddity, beauty, fun, astonishing complexity and limitless variety.' London Review of Books

'The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language is a masterpeice of comprehensiveness and clarity.' New Internationalist

'… an ingenious tour de force … stunningly diverse linguistic menu.' Robert Burchfield, The Times

'… magnificently demonstrates Professor Crystal's outstanding breadth of knowledge, incisiveness of judgment and superb skills at getting to the heart of highly complex issues in a clear and straightforward manner.' Randolph Quirk, FBA

'… David Crystal has a great facility for explaining language issues with plain good sense, wit and admirable brevity.' The Times Educational Supplement

'One of the world's foremost linguistic experts, Crystal has authored numerous tomes on the history and study of the English language, though this, with its full-colour illustrations and exhaustive index, is arguably the most comprehensive. A useful guide for anyone - from the interested layperson to the most widely read of academics.' The Independent

Book Description

This third edition incorporates the major developments in language study since the mid 1990s. It includes major new sections on electronic communication and language death. All statistics and maps have been updated, and all sections revised. The book benefits from many new illustrations and a completely fresh text design.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The overwhelming effect this book leaves the reader is amazement of the scholarship of its single author, who manages to cover everything you could possibly include under the heading 'language' in a single volume. To give you some idea, the indexes and glossary of the 65 chapters information take up nearly 40 pages. Although the depth he can cover everything in is therefore limited, even in 450-odd large pages, a good proportion of what is there is absolutely fascinating and of interest to anyone who uses language (i.e. everyone).
The book makes excellent use of boxes of information and visuals in full colour such as maps, graphs and photos. Like any good encyclopaedia, it can be dipped into almost randomly with the guarantee that some interesting titbit will stick in your head. More unusually, the fact that it doesn't use an A to Z format means that it can quite easily be read through as a general introduction to linguistics. In a sense it could be just as usefully called an encyclopedia of linguistics, as it provides as much information on research and theories of language as it does on the language itself. This shouldn't be taken to mean any of this would only be of interest to the professionally interested, though. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in what is going on around them, and even more so to any teacher or student of language or linguistics.
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Format: Paperback
If you only have one book on language, or linguistics, this should be it. An earlier edition of this book got me through my linguistics undergraduate degree by explaining clearly each of the main areas of language in a throughly readable and enjoyable way. You can read it from cover to cover or simply dip into the various sections and chapters as required. I can't think of anything that isn't covered in this volume; it's a mine of information. Every concept is introduced and explained with clarity in an interesting and engaging style and there are tons of diagrams, illustrations and photographs which highlight key points in the text. The back of the book contains a number of appendices inc. a table of the world's languages and number of speakers. Never again be ignorant about any aspect of language or languages. Worth every penny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book but its a very wordy and there is A LOT of information here, this may be a good thing for some people but it's quite a lot to read when you only want a little bit of information. I would recommend this book to people who want to read a lot into the information provided but there is in my opinion too much information for only little bit of reading.
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By A Customer on 28 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me as part of my Linguistics course at university. It has proved very useful for my course (not boring like other Linguistics books can be!), is extremely interesting and contains lots of pictures! My only complaint is that my studies take me AGES because I can't stop looking through it.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great refernce guide for students of Language, Sociology, Psycology and probably other subjects too. It's fresh approach and easy to use page format makes it interesting to read as a whole. From Latin and Greek to Bush Negro and Yoda this has to be the most comprehensive guide I've encountered. It explians word order and grammar using examples which will engage most students .
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
People who are interested in language or linguistics would definitely love this book. David Crystal explains a number of features of language very nicely in this book. Language is like people, it lives, it changes and it dies. Amazing fact is that all the language are different, yet they are alos similar in some sort of way and those could be explored through this book. In present days, interenet is playing a major role on the language change and that has also been discussed by the author.
The book is easy to read and has lots of illustrations to accompany the discussion. Just like any other encyclopedia, this book is also large in size and heavy. So those who want to read it on their journy by train or by bus, would not find it comfortable. However the book is so interesting that it worth to allocate time just to be with the book and read it properly by sitting on a desk and a chair.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clear as Crystal - the phrase could have been coined for this wonderful book. Great teaching and learning tool. Thanks.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a serious book, invaluable for those interested in languages. May take a lifetime to read all of it.
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