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Language: The Basics Paperback – 18 Mar 1999
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From the Author
Why is the study of language so much fun?
The full title is 'Language: The Basics'. I call this my 'bedtime book', because my then editor told me that her boyfriend was reading the book in bed -- perhaps not exactly what she was hoping for when she commissioned the book. This is not a comprehensive textbook. It is a popular introduction, designed to persuade readers that the study of language is enjoyable and fascinating. How did h-dropping happen? How can the word 'nurse' wreck a social occasion? Do women really speak differently from men? Why is Norwegian two different languages? What are sign languages like? These are the kinds of questions examined in the book. I think you'll like it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Although interested in the subject, I'm not a language student, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book (I've read it twice). The chapter on 'Attitudes to language' made me laugh and cheer, as Trask explodes a number of widely held myths. 'The uniqueness of human language' and 'Change in language' are other excellent chapters. It's a brilliant book and it's not just for specialists.
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