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An Introduction to Language [Paperback]

Victoria Fromkin , Robert Rodman , Nina Hyams
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 2013 1133310680 978-1133310686 10
Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, AN INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE, Tenth Edition, is appropriate for a variety of fields--including education, languages, psychology, cognitive science, 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 book a perennial best-seller, while adding new information and exercises that render each topic fresh, engaging, and current. Available with InfoTrac Student Collections

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Editorial Reviews


1. WHAT IS LANGUAGE? Linguistic Knowledge. What Is Grammar? Universal Grammar. What Is Not (Human) Language. Language and Thought. 2. 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. 3. SYNTAX: THE SENTENCE PATTERNS OF LANGUAGE. What the Syntax Rules Do. Sentence Structure. UG Principles and Parameters. Sign Language Syntax. 4. THE MEANING OF LANGUAGE. What Speakers Know about Sentence Meaning. Compositional Semantics. When Compositionality Goes Awry. Lexical Semantics (Word Meanings). Pragmatics. 5. PHONETICS: THE SOUNDS OF LANGUAGE. Sound Segments. Articulatory Phonetics. Major Phonetic Classes. Prosodic Features. Phonetic Symbols and Spelling Correspondences. The "Phonetics" of Signed Languages. 6. PHONOLOGY: THE SOUND 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. 7. LANGUAGE IN SOCIETY. Dialects. Languages in Contact. Language and Education. Language in Use. 8. 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? 9.LANGUAGE ACQUISITION. The Linguistic Capacity of Children. Stages in Language Acquisition. The Role of the Linguistic Environment: Adult Input. Knowing More Than One Language. 10. LANGUAGE PROCESSING AND THE HUMAN BRAIN. The Human Mind at Work. The Human Brain. Language and Brain Development. The Modular Mind: Dissociations of Language and Cognition. 11. COMPUTER PROCESSING OF HUMAN LANGUAGE. Computers That Talk and Listen. Applications of Computational Linguistics. Computational Lexicography. 12. WRITING: THE ABCS OF LANGUAGE. The History of Writing. Modern Writing Systems. Writing and Speech. Pseudo-writing. Glossary. Index. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Victoria Fromkin received her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a member of the faculty of the UCLA Department of Linguistics from 1966 until her death, and served as its chair from 1972 to 1976. From 1979 to 1989 she served as the UCLA Graduate Dean and Vice Chancellor of Graduate Programs. She was a visiting professor at the universities of Stockholm, Cambridge, and Oxford. Professor Fromkin served as president of the Linguistics Society of America in 1985, president of the Association of Graduate Schools in 1988, and chair of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Aphasia. She received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and the Professional Achievement Award, and served as the U.S. Delegate and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Permanent Committee of Linguistics (CIPL). She was an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Academy of Science, the American Psychological Society, and the Acoustical Society of America, and in 1996 was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. She published more than one hundred books, monographs, and papers on topics concerned with phonetics, phonology, tone languages, African languages, speech errors, processing models, aphasia, and the brain/mind/language interface--all research areas in which she worked. Professor Fromkin passed away in 2000, at the age of 76.

Robert Rodman received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1961, a master's degree in mathematics in 1965, a master's degree in linguistics in 1971, and a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1973. He has been on the faculties of the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kyoto Industrial College in Japan, and North Carolina State University, where he is currently professor of computer science specializing in the areas of forensic linguistics, computer speech processing, and speaker verification and identification.

Nina Hyams received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University in 1973 and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in linguistics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 1981 and 1983, respectively. She joined the UCLA faculty in 1983, where she is currently professor of linguistics. Her main areas of research are childhood language development and syntax. She is author of LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND THE THEORY OF PARAMETERS (D. Reidel Publishers, 1986), a milestone in language acquisition research. She has also published numerous articles on the development of syntax, morphology, and semantics in children. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Utrecht and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and has given numerous lectures throughout Europe and Japan.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 10 edition (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1133310680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1133310686
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gives lots of information, but sometimes not enough. February 19, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great that it gives you lots of information. But for people like me who have not focused on "grammar" in a long time it is EXTREMELY hard to read and get through. (And I am reading this book for the second linguistics class I have taken!). They assume that you know a lot of linguistics and grammar terminology - which is a very bad assumption - because if you don't know what the terms mean or haven't studied grammar in a long time you will be totally lost.

However, other parts are extremely easy to read and get through, plus they use a lot of examples and illustrations to show you what they are discussing, which is very helpful. Some of the terms that should be defined are defined long after they have been introduced - so maybe it is just poorly organized? If you can get a "cheat sheet" on linguistic and grammar terms before reading it will be very helpful to you. I unfortunately didn't have a choice since the book was required for class.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Descent Text - Not worth $150 though December 7, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not worth more than $150. It is clean, easy to understand, but nothing significantly more intelligible than one could find on wikipedia entries... let alone a college text. Returning the book back to Amazon trade-in got me $117 back... so at least that makes me happy. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource October 6, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is easy to read and understandable. Great for linguistics! You may need to read a few times to get the full effect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than most Introductory Linguistics texts July 28, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My current text for Introductory Linguistics at the UMN would be incomprehensible without reading this first. Many of the examples in that text appear to have been lifted from this classic. Even though Victoria Fromkin has been dead for ?20? years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars June 30, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Basic textbook intro for linguistics study
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