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A Mouthful of Air: Language and Languages, Especially English Paperback – 16 Sep 1993

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (16 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099224011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099224013
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 546,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 15 May 2003
Format: Paperback
An amazing book and a must for any one who thinks they want to teach a language, any language. Burgess writes elegantly and covers huge areas of linguistics in an accessible way. If you have always wanted to know what deep structure, morphemes, phonetics and the great vowel shift are, this is the book for you. Some of his views may be a little outdated now, but you cannot fail to be impressed by the eclectic and quirky knowledge about language gathered together in this book. It's not always an easy read, but it is always entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to linguistics, as well as an enjoyable read in its own right. I never fail to be filled with admiration for Burgess' breadth of knowledge and writing stle every tme I re-read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Having studied linguistics only a few years after this book was first published, I found it a wonderful way to refresh those basic elements and terms that, after a decade, I had lost touch with. It should also prove to be an excellent primer or introduction for anyone contemplating the study of linguistics, or of any language.

Burgess' prose can sometimes surpass elegance, and in that case foreign readers of English may find this volume more of a struggle. The rich vocabulary and subtle humour, while aiding the native speaker of English through a sometimes dry topic, may prove even more of a hindrance for those approaching English as a second language. However, for the teacher of a foreign language and EFL in particular, the book provides a large number of examples that can be used in the classroom to guide any learner.

This book is a boon for any enthusiast of language, and a must for anyone who works in the field of language acquisition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can I say? The man's a genius. Cover to cover reading, or dipping into - though the latter keeps messing up my plans for the day! He's such an easy read and so wise and so erudite! A gift of a read. Thank you.
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