Start reading Language An Introduction to the Study of Speech on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Language An Introduction to the Study of Speech [Kindle Edition]

Edward Sapir
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.95
Kindle Price: $0.00
You Save: $8.95 (100%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $0.00  
Hardcover $30.91  
Paperback $8.68  
Mass Market Paperback --  
Unknown Binding --  
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Edward Sapir (IPA: /səˈpɪər/), (January 26, 1884 – February 4, 1939) was a Jewish-German-American anthropologist-linguist, a leader in American structural linguistics, and one of the creators of what is now called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. He is arguably the most influential figure in American linguistics, influencing several generations of linguists across several schools of linguistics.

  • Sapir, Edward (1907). Herder's "Ursprung der Sprache". Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ASIN: B0006CWB2W. 
  • Sapir, Edward (1908), "On the etymology of Sanskrit asru, Avestan asru, Greek dakru", in Modi, Jivanji Jamshedji, Spiegel memorial volume. Papers on Iranian subjects written by various scholars in honour of the late Dr. Frederic Spiegel, Bombay: British India Press, pp. 156–159 
  • Sapir, Edward; Curtin, Jeremiah (1909). Wishram texts, together with Wasco tales and myths. E.J. Brill. ASIN: B000855RIW. 
  • Sapir, Edward (1910). Yana Texts. Berkeley University Press. 
  • Sapir, Edward (1915). A sketch of the social organization of the Nass River Indians. Ottawa: Government Printing Office.<span class=z3988 title=ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3aofi%2ffmt%3akev%3amtx%3abook&rft.genre=book&rft.btitle=a+sketch+of+the+social+organization+of+the+nass+river+indians&rft.a

Product Details

  • File Size: 405 KB
  • Print Length: 149 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1406820571
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004UJST78
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,673 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Sapir's 1921 "Language" is one of the finest of many fine works by the distinguished linguist, anthropologist and humanist. With piercing yet accessible insight, he guides the reader through fundamental questions about language: How are culture and language related? How does language work? How do languages vary?
Although there are many general introductions to the subject (Bloomfield's and Jesperson's volume come to mind), Sapir's is unmatched for sheer readability in interest. Highly recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific intro book May 14, 2013
Although written before the modern age of transformational grammar this is still a terrific book for the beginner in linguistics. Having been published in the 1920s the approach is of course more grounded in classical structural linguistics, but that's fine because the beginner needs to learn that first before getting into the technicalities of Chomsky's transformational theory or later developments such as cognitive linguistics, specialized offshoots such as head driven phrase structure grammars, harmonic phrase structure grammars, or modern re-inventions of structuralism such as biogenetic structuralism, etc. The book takes a grammar based approach to language typology and the classification of languages, with examples ranging from Chinese to Eskimo to Amerindian languages like Nootka.

Besides covering grammar there are excellent chapters or sections on phonetics, phonetic drift, and word morphology. Because Sapir started off his career in comparative Germanic languages and then subsequently expanded his language studies to many other non-Germanic languages, he developed a great sense of word phonetics and word morphology which he put to good use in this book and also was useful later in his career as more of a theoretician. As a result of this broad learning and especially his expertise in Amerindian languages, he came to realize that many of the traditional ideas he'd had about language which were mainly based on Indo-European language patterns were wrong. I also found the chapter on language families and classification particularly fascinating although be aware that as the book is now 90 years old some of the details about the taxonomy have changed.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and Thought Provoking July 23, 2008
When I started reading this work I found that it was very difficult to get through much at once. The book is very dense and packed with insightful examples.

However, Sapir illustrates points quite well. In it he discusses phonetic theories, concepts of drift, syntax and word structure, how language and culture are related, and the like. There are few more comprehensive introductions to the field today, and fewer introductions still which go into the level of depth that he does. Highly recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Classic language/speech read. Informative, but slightly outdated. Great for the novice who wants to begin learning about speech and language.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found Edward Sapir's introduction to the study of speech fascinating. It discusses a variety of issues involved in the study of spoken language, including differences in grammatical structure, history, and phonetic drift (the way sounds change) as well as many other topics. It reads sort of like a collection of class lectures, but that is okay for those interested in the study of speech. The author understood the origin of language as an evolutionist and that colored his perspective on its nature and the nature of humankind. However he seemed to recognize that modern human sciences really do not understand how language could have actually developed from natural processes. The author shows an apt understanding of almost all the world's major language groups, especially native American languages, some of which he documented first-hand before the time of their extinction or near extinction.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately this book was too "professional" for me, so may be I was not the right person to read it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars March 30, 2015
By Zenope
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an intriguing study of speech and one I endorse for any student interested in linguistic anthropology.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars good book December 31, 2014
By mmm
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
gogd book, I'm Chinese,and read this to improve English,to realise more about English
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category