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The Language of Language: A Linguistics Course for Starters Paperback – January 10, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1456458638 ISBN-10: 1456458639 Edition: 0003-

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 0003- edition (January 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456458639
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456458638
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The Language of Language' provides a careful selection of important topics in linguistic inquiry and gives a clear overview of each. And, what must have been a difficult feat indeed, the ideas are presented in a way that is always interesting and frequently amusing. ... It is the ideal course book to choose in countries where either one finds several varieties of English spoken or where students are learning English as a second or foreign language, as is true in much of Asia. --Dr Gloria Poedjosoedarmo, Independent Scholar, Singapore

This text offers a clear explanation of the core concepts of linguistics and would be an appropriate choice as a text for an introductory linguistics class. The volume provides a solid base on which the student can build by taking more advanced courses in linguistics --Dr Amy Thompson, Michigan State University

I find the approach taken by the authors quite refreshing. It is different from other introductory textbooks because the aim of the book, as stated in the preface, is not to be comprehensive but to encourage "informed thinking about issues relating to language and structure ...and the kinds of activities that linguists busy themselves with". The authors have presented the chapter on semantics, for instance, in an interesting and entertaining way that is at once quite challenging to the linguistics student. --Dr. Hajar Abdul Rahim, Universiti Sains Malaya

Informative, current, thought-provoking, and reader-friendly. I would encourage my students to buy this book as the language is accessible, and difficult concepts are clearly explained and exemplified. The chapter on discourse is much more comprehensive than in other books as it takes into account current ideas in the study of discourse. It also attempts to establish the important link between real-world knowledge and linguistic knowledge. --Dr. Shakila Manan, Universiti Sains Malaya

The main strengths of this book are its attempts to cut out a lot of information that finds its way into books like this and give what the authors consider essential without filling up the book with more advanced information. I very much like the attempt to use discovery as a method for teaching phonetics. It's what most of us try to do in class, but I've almost never seen an introductory linguistics book that makes the pedagogy explicit. --Associate Professor John M. Levis, Iowa State University

About the Author

Madalena Cruz-Ferreira hails from Portugal, and received her PhD from the University of Manchester, UK. She is an independent scholar, with authored and edited publications on multilingualism, child language, phonology, intonation and the language of science. Her blog, Being Multilingual, is featured at AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics), ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), The Linguist List, OEP (Observatoire Européen du Plurilinguisme), Teaching English (British Council-BBC), TES (Times Educational Supplement) and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Sunita Anne Abraham was born in Penang, Malaysia, and holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK. She is an Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, a Fellow of the NUS Teaching Academy, and the proud recipient of a dozen teaching awards, including two Outstanding University Educator awards. She serves on several international editorial boards, including the Journal of Second Language Writing and the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her research and teaching interests include genre analysis, discourse structure, the language of persuasion, and the relationship between reading, writing and thinking.

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Customer Reviews

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It makes for an extremely interesting read.
Suganthi John
The Language of Language is an excellent introductory text for any student embarking on a course of study in English Language and Linguistics.
The book offers a clear and well-constructed account of concepts in core linguistics.
Mie Hiramoto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suganthi John on October 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to the study of the English language. It has useful examples and is written in an engaging style. It makes for an extremely interesting read. What stands out most is that you require no prior knowledge of language or linguistics to understand the concepts that are highlighted in the book. It is a book that gives you all the basic knowledge you need about how the English language works. This is certainly a comprehensive and accessible book for anyone interested in language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tan Ying Ying on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent introductory textbook for first year undergraduates of Linguistics. This book covers the basic concepts across most of the major areas in Linguistics, equipping students with enough knowledge to advance into more specialised fields later. At the same time, the concepts are elucidated in a clear and systematic manner that helps to engage the students in a non-threatening manner. What is really useful and different about this book is the teaching of concepts in a pro-active way, and thus the whole process of reading and learning becomes one of discovery, rather than a passive prescription of theories with a predetermined perspective.

An valuable resource, and certainly a good textbook to have at any level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glenda Singh on September 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been using `The Language of Language' for freshmen students of Linguistics and find it a great improvement on most other books I've used. For one thing, this book is written to encourage active learning rather than passive reading of new concepts. Through the process of grappling with the puzzles and exercises, an amazing amount of `new' knowledge is generated and a lot of argument as well, some of it spilling over into out-of-classtime debates and questioning. This is mainly due to the way the book is conceptualised as a journey towards understanding language -- making the path challenging but never intimidating; sometimes debatable but never dull. This is exactly what freshmen need -- I can see them referring to this book even when they go into the higher levels of academia, whenever they need to refresh their knowledge of the basics. Above all, this book proves that humour and scholarship can be combined in a way that is very appealing to students.
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