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Exploring Linguistic Science
Language Use, Complexity, and Interaction


  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108424806

£ 69.99

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About the Authors
  • Exploring Linguistic Science introduces students to the basic principles of complexity theory and then applies these principles to the scientific study of language. It demonstrates how, at every level of linguistic study, we find evidence of language as a complex system. Designed for undergraduate courses in language and linguistics, this essential textbook brings cutting-edge concepts to bear on the traditional components of general introductions to the study of language, such as phonetics, morphology and grammar. The authors maintain a narrative thread throughout the book of 'interaction and emergence', both of which are key terms from the study of complex systems, a new science currently useful in physics, genetics, evolutionary biology, and economics, but also a perfect fit for the humanities. The application of complexity to language highlights the fact that language is an ever-changing, ever-varied product of human behavior.

    • The first introductory text on linguistics to include a complexity perspective on language
    • Lessons are based on real classroom experience that encourages students to think, discuss and explore
    • Fosters a dialogue between different perspectives on the study of language that encourages students think critically and independently
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This lucid book - elegantly written and brimming with memorable examples of both language and complex systems across the sciences - will guide readers through the intellectual adventure of a new science, one that will transform, not only perspectives on language, but also their sense of themselves as linguistic agents.' Michael Adams, Indiana University, Bloomington

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108424806
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 62 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. A new science
    2. Complex systems in nature and human behavior
    3. Complex systems in language
    4. Language basics: sounds
    5. Sounds: IPA and acoustic phonetics
    6. Sounds: atlas evidence
    7. Language basics: morphology
    8. Morphemes: empirical data
    9. Parts of speech
    10. Language basics: grammar and discourse
    11. Grammar: sentences and construction grammar
    12. Cognitive linguistics
    13. Language acquisition
    14. Language evolution
    15. Text type
    16. Style
    17. Sociolinguistics
    18. Big data: using a corpus
    19. Historical linguistics
    20. Conclusion: the future of interaction and emergence.

  • Authors

    Allison Burkette, University of Mississippi
    Allison Burkette is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Mississippi. Her publications include a number of case studies that employ Linguistic Atlas Project data, including 'The Story of Chester Drawers' (2001), 'Stamped Indian: Localism and Lexical Variation in Terms for American 'Cornbread'' (2011), and 'Parlor Talk: Complexity from a Historical Perspective' (2013). She is author of Language and Material Culture (2015).

    William A. Kretzschmar Jr., University of Georgia
    Bill Kretzschmar is the Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities at the University of Georgia. He is Editor of the American Linguistic Atlas Project, the oldest and largest national research project to survey how people speak differently across the Americas. His The Linguistics of Speech (2009) and Language and Complex Systems (2015) have pioneered the study of complex systems in language.

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