All About Language: A Guide
In clear, congenial style Barry Blake explains how language works. He describes the make-up of words and how they're built from sounds and signs and put together in phrases and sentences. He examines the dynamics of conversation and the relations between the sound and meaning. He shows how languages help their users connect to each other and to the world, how they vary around the world, why they never stop changing, and that no two people speak a language in the same way. He looks at how language is acquired by infant children, how it relates to thought, and its operations in the brain. He investigates current trends and issues such as the levelling of linguistic class differences and the rise of new secret or in-group languages such as argot and teenspeak. He describes the history of writing from its origins to digital diffusion, and ends by looking at how language might have originated and then evolved among our distant hominid and primate ancestors. Language is crucial to every aspect of our lives whether we're thinking, talking, or dreaming. Barry Blake reveals the wonders that lie beneath the surface of everyday communication, enriching his exposition with a unique blend of anecdote and humour. His engaging guide is for everyone curious about language or who needs to know more about it.
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Abbreviations and conventions
2 Word classes
3 Forming new words
PART IVVariation and change
12 Language change
PART VThe brain
13 Language acquisition
accent acquire adjective adverb allomorphs allophones alphabet alveolar alveolar nasal American English aphasia auxiliary borrowed breath stream Broca’s aphasia called chapter child Chinese common complement compound consonant clusters context derived dialect dictionary diphthongs distinction expressions female following example French fricative function words further reading Problems gender grammar Greek homophony hypernym hyponym inflection instance Latin lexeme lexical linguists marker marking meaning mondegreen morpheme nasal noun phrase object occurs Old English participle particular passive past tense person phonemes phonology pidgins plural polysemy postpositions predicate prefix preposition pronoun pronunciation Received Pronunciation refer relative clause represented root semantic sentence sequence sign language someone sometimes Sources and further speak speakers speech sounds spelling spoken stop stress suffix syllable symbols syntax talk term tongue transitive verb unstressed usually velar vocabulary voice voiceless vowel word class word order writing