An Introduction to Language

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-01-01
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, AN INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE, Ninth Edition, is appropriate for a variety of fields--including education, languages, psychology, anthropology, English, and teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)--at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This completely updated edition retains the clear descriptions, humor, and seamless pedagogy that have made the text a perennial best-seller, while adding new information and exercises that render each topic fresh, engaging, and current.


"It's the most comprehensive introduction to linguistics ever, and it never strays far from my elbow."

"I am pleased with the text's wide selection of topics--I feel like the students are getting more for their money. I encourage interested students to read further in the text--even after the course ends. I think many keep it as a reference for future work."

". . . I appreciate the expertise this text represents. This is a solid scholarly study of linguistics."

"I have used this book for 29 years already and am still very happy with it. So far, new editions have come closer and closer to my ideal textbook. Even now, it's the only textbook for any of my courses that does just what I want it to do in terms of topics covered and level of difficulty. Just as important, the students find it clear and straightforward, yet fun and intriguing as well. . . ."

"An Introduction to Language is comprehensive and inclusive. It gives students an excellent introduction to language study and outlines the concepts in general linguistics as well as sociolinguistics and recent work in language processing. There seems to be something for everyone."

Table of Contents

The Nature Of Human Language
What Is Language?
Linguistic Knowledge
What Is Grammar?
Animal "Languages." In the Beginning: The Origin of Language and Thought
What We Know about Language
Brain and Language
The Human Brain
The Autonomy of Language
Language and Brain Development
Grammatical Aspects Of Language
Morphology: The Words of Language
Content Words and Function Words
Morphemes: The Minimal Units of Meaning
Rules of Word Formation
Sign Language Morphology
Morphological Analysis: Identifying Morphemes
Syntax: The Sentence Patterns of Language
What the Syntax Rules Do
Sentence Structure
Sentence Relatedness
UG Principles and Parameters
Sign Language Syntax
The Meaning of Language
What Speakers Know about Sentence Meaning
Compositional Semantics
Lexical Semantics (Word Meanings)
Phonetics: The Sounds of Language
Sound Segments
Articulatory Phonetics
Prosodic Features
Phonetic Symbols and Spelling Correspondences
The "Phonetics" of Signed Languages
Phonology: The Sound Patterns of Language
The Pronunciation of Morphemes
Phonemes: The Phonological Units of Language
Distinctive Features of Phonemes
The Rules of Phonology
Prosodic Phonology
Sequential Constraints of Phonemes
Why Do Phonological Rules Exist?
Phonological Analysis
The Psychology Of Language
Language Acquisition
Mechanisms of Language Acquisition
Knowing More Than One Language
Language Processing: Humans and Computers
The Human Mind at Work: Human Language Processing
Computer Processing of Human Language
Language And Society
Language in Society
Language and Education
Language in Use
Language Change: The Syllables of Time
The Regularity of Sound Change
Phonological Change
Morphological Change
Syntactic Change
Lexical Change
Reconstructing "Dead" Languages
Extinct and Endangered Languages
The Genetic Classification of Languages
Types of Languages
Why Do Languages Change?
Writing: The ABCs of Language
The History of Writing
Modern Writing Systems
Writing and Speech
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Fascinating trip! June 28, 2011
This textbook is a fascinating trip into the intricacies of language acquisition and use. Authors explained difficult linguistic concepts with an easy-to-follow language, appropriate examples and an almost foolproof style. For those of us wishing to continue learning, this is a very educational textbook. The textbook was easy to follow, entertaining, and really taught me a lot about linguistics. The textbook was delivered promptly and it was in great condition for a used textbook, no highlighting or other marks anywhere on it. I was very pleased with this purchase.
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An Introduction to Language: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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