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Language: The Basics Paperback – 18 Mar 1999

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4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (18 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415340195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415340199
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

About the Author

One of the most celebrated linguists of his time, R. L. Trask was a brilliant lecturer and the author of many popular works, including "The Penguin Guide to Punctuation" and "The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar". Born in New York State in 1944, he lived in England after 1970, and was Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sussex until his death in 2004.


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By A Customer on 28 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I am an Undergraduate Linguistics student at Durham and I found this book a very useful read over the summer before I started my course, I also wish I had read it during my A levels as it explores the fundimentals of analytical linguistics assisting the reader in particular with stylistic analysis and providing a through grounding in the basics of degree level work - read it, reduce it, learn it it is a massive help.
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Format: Paperback
Trask's writing is brilliant. The author has an outstanding ability to explain his subject in an entertaining way. Trask is the unpretentious master of his subject and writes crystal clear English.

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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Format: Paperback
The author reveals some fascinating facts about language, such as how and why the written and spoken versions diverge over time. I like his style of writing and the book provides a good introduction to linguistics for the general reader. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in linguistics, which should be everyone since we all use language.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating and engaging over-view of the study of language. While academically sound, with masses of suggestions for further reading, it is also a very accessible read - not at all intimidating for a complete beginner in language studies. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Trask sets out the basic premises and concepts which underpin the subject of linguistics with rare lucidity. The book is engaging and accessible whilst avoiding simplistic platitudes.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
As a A-level student, I found this book entertaining and informative. It condensed chuncks of my course into meaningful points. Unlike other text books, I intend to keep this book on the shelf after my studies are completed.
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