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on June 26, 2007
This is a very accessible text. Many students find linguistics an intimidating subject to tackle, but this book makes it manageable. At the same time, Finegan does not just give students the "right" answers when discussing issues in linguistics--he presents those issues, then expects students to think for themselves, and draw their own conclusions. He is definitely not unbiased, but he also doesn't claim to have all the answers. Finegan presents students with a number of opportunities to connect what they are learning in this book to their own experiences and knowledge. It fulfills the purpose it was meant to serve as a textbook.
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on October 30, 2011
I am getting my my master's degree in Linguistics, and my professor has chosen to use this book for our Introduction to Linguistics course. Finegan writes this book as if he's writing it for professional linguists who need their memories refreshed. Instead of simply putting in the book what students need: clear-cut, unambigous, non-circular definitions, he quickly glosses over terms then gives very long, extensive examples without even having defined the term. For example, pragmatics is defined as "the branch of linguistics that studies information structure" (p. 250). His definitions do not help the learner fully understand the term, he simply doesn't define it.

Majority of the examples are given in foreign languages. This is not helpful if you have never studied any of them, and for the ones you have studied, it doesn't make things easier. The exercises he has at the end of each chapter are ambiguous. For example, exercise 8.1a, pp. 272: "Identify the noun phrase that is the topic in sentences 2, 3, and 4." This question can go two ways- identify one noun phrase that is the topic of each of those sentences as a whole or identify three separate noun phrases. Finegan should take more time in the structure of defining the terms in his next edition and condense some of the long, unnecessary examples, as well as get on board with standards (the phonetic charts he uses are out of date).
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on August 28, 2013
It seems that this author chose to use fancy wording and complex examples when something simpler would have been fine. I often found myself rereading paragraphs and even that didn't help. I got an A in my linguistics class thanks to my professor's lectures and because I kept rereading parts that were worded poorly (lots of those). If this book is your only resource then you'd better get to the lectures because you'll be in deep trouble otherwise.
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on May 9, 2005
I recently completed an Introduction to Linguistics course; this book was the text. I found it not only extremely readable but up to date, informative, and scholarly. It made more clear what was for most of us an inaccessible topic. The examples were real world and timely. Small units on Computers and Linguistics at the end of each chapter explained how these two fields intersect. The study questions and examples provided pertinent review of what the chapters covered.

BTW, I found the tone of the last review "pompous and patronizing", to use his own words. Why are there so many intellectual snobs among linguists?
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on February 13, 2009
It is a good entry book for linguistics. The text is easily to follow. Provides a fair number of exercises. However, I would recommend choosing a different textbook for students in the field of second language acquisition (SLA), as the book lacks sufficient information in SLA.
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on August 13, 2013
Is easy to read, Helpful for my class. I like the size and weight for carring to class. I would not have read if not needed for class.
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on July 27, 2015
As described with quick delivery!
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on August 27, 2014
Awesome
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on March 20, 2016
good
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on September 17, 2010
I received my book soon after the purchase. The seller was prompt and the book was in excellent condition! I would buy from this seller again!
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