on 2 March 2001
I'm taking an Open University course in English Language, for which Graddol et al's _Describing Language_ is a set book. I hadn't studied any linguistics formally before, although I do have an interest in the subject. I ordered this book several months before starting the course, and having read it beforehand put me at quite an advantage when starting the course as regards understanding the technical terms and various types of linguistic analysis that were used in the course material.
Not that you should only buy this book if you're taking a similar course - you shouldn't :> If you have any interest in linguistics and in "describing language" this would be a good one to get, especially if your interest isn't in any one particular area, since as the synopsis says it introduces a wide range of linguistic topics.
This book might be better for people new to the subject (like me!) than for more experienced linguists, although it may well be a useful reference book even for those who've been doing it for ages...
on 17 January 2001
This revised edition covers a range of topics including syntax, phonetics, word structure and prosody. It is an essential guidebook for students of language, linguistics and speech pathology. The book contains a fresh and inspiring description of language, using language which can be understood by a range of scholars. Part of the attraction of this book is its practical descriptions of real data. There is a wide review of the literature realted to grammar and language and readable introduction to major theories, including those of Chomsky and Halliday. descriptions.
on 24 March 2005
I purchased this book as required reading for the U210 Open University and find it extreemly dull and tiresome. Judging from the OU message board for this course I am far from alone. Avoid at all costs. To anyone thinking of doing the course, one word of advice, don't.