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With a language disappearing every two weeks and neologisms springing up almost daily, an understanding of the origins and currency of language has never seemed more relevant. In this charming volume, a narrative history written explicitly for a young audience, expert linguist David Crystal proves why the story of language deserves retelling. From the first words of an infant to the peculiar modern dialect of text messaging,A Little Book of Languageranges widely, revealing language's myriad intricacies and quirks. In animated fashion, Crystal sheds light on the development of unique linguistic styles, the origins of obscure accents, and the search for the first written word. He discusses the plight of endangered languages, as well as successful cases of linguistic revitalization. Much more than a history, Crystal's work looks forward to the future of language, exploring the effect of technology on our day-to-day reading, writing, and speech. Through enlightening tables, diagrams, and quizzes, as well as Crystal's avuncular and entertaining style,A Little Book of Languagewill reveal the story of language to be a captivating tale for all ages.
David Crystal is one of the world's preeminent language specialists. Writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster, he is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has written nearly 100 books, including The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, By Hook or By Crook: A Journey in Search of English, Txtng: The Gr8 Db8, The Stories of English, and Rediscover Grammar, and has published widely on phonetics, Shakespeare's language, and child language. In 1995 he was awarded the OBE for services to the English language. He lives in Holyhead, UK.
Table of Contents
|From Cries to Words||p. 6|
|Learning How to Understand||p. 14|
|Making Vibrations||p. 21|
|Pronouncing Sounds||p. 28|
|Discovering Grammar||p. 34|
|Having a Conversation||p. 40|
|Learning to Read and Write||p. 45|
|Getting to Grips with Spelling||p. 52|
|Spelling Rules and Variations||p. 58|
|Grammar Rules and Variations||p. 65|
|Accents and Dialects||p. 71|
|Being Bilingual||p. 78|
|The Languages of the World||p. 84|
|The Origins of Speech||p. 92|
|The Origins of Writing||p. 98|
|Modern Writing||p. 104|
|Sign Language||p. 112|
|Comparing Languages||p. 118|
|Dying Languages||p. 125|
|Language Change||p. 131|
|Language Variation||p. 138|
|Language at Work||p. 145|
|Place Names||p. 169|
|Personal Names||p. 176|
|The Electronic Revolution||p. 183|
|Language at Play||p. 195|
|Why use Language?||p. 201|
|Language for Feelings||p. 209|
|Political Correctness||p. 215|
|Language in Literature||p. 221|
|Developing a Style||p. 227|
|The Complexity of Language||p. 233|
|Applied Linguistics||p. 244|
|Your Language World||p. 250|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|