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The Wonders of Language
Or How to Make Noises and Influence People


  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316604410

£ 17.99

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About the Authors
  • Ian Roberts offers a stimulating introduction to our greatest gift as a species: our capacity for articulate language. We are mostly as blissfully unaware of the intricacies of the structure of language as fish are of the water they swim in. We live in a mental ocean of nouns, verbs, quantifiers, morphemes, vowels and other rich, strange and deeply fascinating linguistic objects. This book introduces the reader to this amazing world. Offering a thought-provoking and accessible introduction to the main discoveries and theories about language, the book is aimed at general readers and undergraduates who are curious about linguistics and language. Written in a lively and direct style, technical terms are carefully introduced and explained and the book includes a full glossary. The book covers all the central areas of linguistics, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, as well as historical linguistics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.

    • Introduces the core ideas in linguistics
    • Explains what linguists have learnt about language
    • Keeps technical terms to a minimum and includes a full glossary
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316604410
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 218 x 141 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 16 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. How to make noises - phonetics
    2. How to organise noises - phonology
    3. How to build a word - morphology
    4. How to say absolutely anything you want to - syntax
    5. How to build a world - semantics
    6. How to influence people - pragmatics
    7. How to find lost languages - historical linguistics
    8. How to influence the right people - sociolinguistics
    9. How to lose a language and how to learn a language - psycholinguistics
    10. How to build a language - language typology and universals.

  • Author

    Ian Roberts, University of Cambridge
    Ian Roberts has taught in Switzerland, Wales and Germany, and is currently Professor of Linguistics at the University of Cambridge. He has published six monographs and two textbooks, and has edited several collections of articles.

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