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Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, AN INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE, Ninth Edition, is appropriate for a variety of fields—including education, languages, psychology, anthropology, English, and teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)—at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This completely updated edition retains the clear descriptions, humor, and seamless pedagogy that have made the text a perennial best-seller, while adding new information and exercises that render each topic fresh, engaging, and current.
Victoria Fromkin received her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a member of the faculty of the UCLA Department of Linguistics from 1966 until her death, and served as its chair from 1972 to 1976. From 1979 to 1989 she served as the UCLA Graduate Dean and Vice Chancellor of Graduate Programs. She was a visiting professor at the universities of Stockholm, Cambridge, and Oxford. Professor Fromkin served as president of the Linguistics Society of America in 1985, president of the Association of Graduate Schools in 1988, and chair of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Aphasia. She received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and the Professional Achievement Award, and served as the U.S. Delegate and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Permanent Committee of Linguistics (CIPL). She was an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Academy of Science, the American Psychological Society, and the Acoustical Society of America, and in 1996 was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. She published more than one hundred books, monographs, and papers on topics concerned with phonetics, phonology, tone languages, African languages, speech errors, processing models, aphasia, and the brain/mind/language interface—all research areas in which she worked. Professor Fromkin passed away in 2000, at the age of 76.
Robert Rodman received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1961, a master's degree in mathematics in 1965, a master's degree in linguistics in 1971, and a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1973. He has been on the faculties of the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kyoto Industrial College in Japan, and North Carolina State University, where he is currently professor of computer science specializing in the areas of forensic linguistics, computer speech processing, and speaker verification and identification.
Nina Hyams received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University in 1973 and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in linguistics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 1981 and 1983, respectively. She joined the UCLA faculty in 1983, where she is currently professor of linguistics. Her main areas of research are childhood language development and syntax. She is author of LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND THE THEORY OF PARAMETERS (D. Reidel Publishers, 1986), a milestone in language acquisition research. She has also published numerous articles on the development of syntax, morphology, and semantics in children. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Utrecht and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and has given numerous lectures throughout Europe and Japan.
Part 1: THE NATURE OF HUMAN LANGUAGE. 1. What Is Language? Linguistic Knowledge. What Is Grammar? Animal "Languages." In the Beginning: The Origin of Language and Thought. What We Know about Language. 2. Brain and Language. The Human Brain. The Autonomy of Language. Language and Brain Development. Part 2: GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE. 3. Morphology: The Words of Language. Dictionaries. Content Words and Function Words. Morphemes: The Minimal Units of Meaning. Rules of Word Formation. Sign Language Morphology. Morphological Analysis: Identifying Morphemes. 4. Syntax: The Sentence Patterns of Language. What the Syntax Rules Do. Sentence Structure. Sentence Relatedness. UG Principles and Parameters. Sign Language Syntax. 5. The Meaning of Language. What Speakers Know about Sentence Meaning. Compositional Semantics. Lexical Semantics (Word Meanings). Pragmatics. 6. Phonetics: The Sounds of Language. Sound Segments. Articulatory Phonetics. Prosodic Features. Phonetic Symbols and Spelling Correspondences. The "Phonetics" of Signed Languages. 7. Phonology: The Sound Patterns of Language. The Pronunciation of Morphemes. Phonemes: The Phonological Units of Language. Distinctive Features of Phonemes. The Rules of Phonology. Prosodic Phonology. Sequential Constraints of Phonemes. Why Do Phonological Rules Exist? Phonological Analysis. Part 3: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE. 8. Language Acquisition. Mechanisms of Language Acquisition. Knowing More Than One Language. 9. Language Processing: Humans and Computers. The Human Mind at Work: Human Language Processing. Computer Processing of Human Language. Part 4: LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY. 10. Language in Society. Dialects. Language and Education. Language in Use. 11. Language Change: The Syllables of Time. The Regularity of Sound Change. Phonological Change. Morphological Change. Syntactic Change. Lexical Change. Reconstructing "Dead" Languages. Extinct and Endangered Languages. The Genetic Classification of Languages. Types of Languages. Why Do Languages Change? 12. Writing: The ABCs of Language. The History of Writing. Modern Writing Systems. Writing and Speech. Glossary. Index.
This text has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. First, as you may have noticed already, it is extremely expensive! Far, far, FAR more overpriced than it should be for a run of the mill textbook. Furthermore, better deserving of the adjective offensive, the book regularly (VERY frequently) uses sexual innuendos, sexual terms, sensually related phrases, and flat out racial slurs as EXAMPLES! At first, I thought it was coincidence and maybe my mind was "in the gutter," but near the end of my course, I've read nearly the whole book and it is just littered with suspect phrases. What finally drove me to write this was the excerpt "politically correct (PC) language, to say... and not 'n*****' 'w**' or 'b****'" No stars, but spelled out! There is absolutely no need for this language. Please avoid this textbook and if it is required of your class, ask the teacher if they would mind substituting for another linguistics text. Everyone associated with this work should not receive another dime.
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