How Language Works

How Language Works

eBook - 2007
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In this fascinating survey of everything from how sounds become speech to how names work, David Crystal answers every question you might ever have had about the nuts and bolts of language in his usual highly illuminating way. Along the way we find out about eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, how parents teach their children to speak, how politeness travels across languages and how the way we talk show not just how old we are but where wersquo;re from and even who we want to be.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2007, c2006.
ISBN: 9780141911731
0141911735
Characteristics: 1 online resource (500 p.)

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Jan 23, 2018

This is an extraordinarily well structured book. Even the paragraphs and sentences are structured and ordered to perfection, whilst still being able to be read with ease. There are so many interesting points about it that if I were to point them out I would simply be regurgitating most of the table of contents (the parts that didn't interest me much had to do with developmental linguistics (how babies and children learn language)). The last chapters about language management, as well as those dealing with semantics were the most interesting, whilst the ones about phonetics were the most difficult to understand (one should look for audio files on the web to get a better sense of the clicks and of vowel tones: the printed page is forever silent). The bibliography was too brief.

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