Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 17 August 2017
A highly condensed but very informative overview of the origins and nature of the topic. Some of the technicalities could do with more examples, but it is after all intended as a short introduction.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 August 2017
Great book very interesting.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 September 2017
Entertaining factual overview of the subject.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 May 2014
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.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 November 2015
Bought this to try and get to grips with my latest course. Excellent overview, gives an idea of the we Ord of linguistics.
11 Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 September 2012
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!
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 February 2013
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.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 3 October 2008
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.
33 Comments| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 June 2013
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.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 November 2008
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.
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse