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Contemporary Linguistics Paperback – August 13, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0312555283 ISBN-10: 0312555288 Edition: Sixth Edition

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Paperback, August 13, 2009
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Contemporary Linguistics + Study Guide for Contemporary Linguistics + The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (P.S.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; Sixth Edition edition (August 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312555288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312555283
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

WILLIAM O'GRADY teaches linguistics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is the author of several scholarly books. His research focuses on syntactic theory, language acquisition, and Korean.

JOHN ARCHIBALD in addition to teaching linguistics at the University of Calgary, studies the acquisition of phonology and has written several books on the subject.

MARK ARONOFF is professor of linguistics at Stony Brook University and was President of the Linguistic Society of America for 2005. He has written numerous articles and several books on aspects of linguistic morphology, as well as on orthography and the teaching of linguistics.

JANIE REES-MILLER is director of the English as a Second Language program at Marietta College, Ohio. In research and teaching, she is concerned with the interface between theory and practice and with making linguistics accessible to nonlinguists. She is coeditor with Mark Aronoff of The Handbook of Linguistics.

Customer Reviews

The writing is clear and concise, with great explanations and examples.
Justine N.
This is a great companion to the material we are learning and has a lot of interesting chapters that we aren't covering in the class.
Mimi Rondeau
Sadly to say, this book isn't the book to depend on in times of trouble.
Danielle N. Karthauser

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Justine N. on November 14, 2010
I am a Linguistics PhD student, and when I was taking Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics, this was the suggested textbook. The writing is clear and concise, with great explanations and examples. In my upper level classes I find myself returning to this book frequently to clarify concepts. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone studying linguistics at any level. My only qualm is that the book relies heavily on examples from the American English language. I suppose that is fine for beginners, but it is definitely important to have examples from other languages as well. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By etymologik on February 25, 2011
O'grady et al. do a marvelous job of introducing a newcomer to ALL the major subfields of linguistics -- phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, historical & comparative linguistics & language universals, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition & development, sociolinguistics, animal communication, writing versus speech, & computational linguistics. These are covered very clearly and in surprising detail for an overview textbook; each chapter grounds the reader in enough of the basic terminology and concepts to read further on topics that interest them. A great way to bootstrap yourself into the field.

Only two subfields get rather short shrift in this book: (1) discourse analysis/conversation analysis are not covered well, although they at least get some mention under "sociolinguistics"; and (2) and the role of gesture in discourse gets passing reference in the "nonverbal communication" section of "animal communication." A chapter on discourse pragmatics, with a solid description of conversational analysis & a short section on gesture, would be a worthwhile addition I think.

Overall, though, the best introductory textbook out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AraSanentz on October 2, 2013
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An essential textbook in understanding key concepts, the diagrams and practice problems are also very helpful to a beginner student.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justin Fan on September 28, 2012
Nice book but I wanna know where I can find the answers to all the exercises in the book.

I also bought its study guide.

However, it doesn't include the answers to the exercises.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Willow on August 31, 2011
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Although used and a paperback edition, this textbook came in excellent condition. The charts and diagrams are very useful to organize and understand information, and it does a good job of trying to teach concepts as well as definitions. My one gripe is that the beginning rushes the content just a little quickly, but with a good teacher (or other resources if you're learning on your own) that shouldn't be an issue. The book does seem to assume that you have some prior knowledge of linguistics.

As for the body of the book, it is rather serious at times but balances that out with lighthearted, corny moments. There are also asides into topics such as geography and anatomy wherever such understanding helps the reader out--if you enjoy that sort of thing (and linguistics), the book will be very engaging. Otherwise, it may be rather trite.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Superman Fan on February 21, 2011
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I was required to buy this book for a college linguistics class, and all I can say is that the authors are fortunate that they're being "subsidized" by universities. It's not that the information is bad. You can certainly learn from the book, but only if you're willing to read every section two or three times.

The authors introduce new terminology constantly (often poorly defining the terms) and then move on as though the reader has instantly assimilated the information.

This book is a nice option if you're looking to test yourself on how well you can assimilate information even when poorly presented. And it works if you've also got a decent professor walking you through the information in a classroom environment. It is not, however, the book to buy if you're interested in learning on your own.
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this is the first semester that I have rented textbooks online. Appears to work as promised. Will I be able to give a proper review upon return at the end of the semester
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By Allison on February 26, 2014
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While, this textbook is very straight forward I didn't enjoy it. They layout and structure isn't as easy to follow as others in my opinion.
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