Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages

by David Crystal

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Both students and the general public should welcome this dictionary by the editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language ( LJ 5/1/88). It defines hundreds of terms connected with language, from A to Zoosemiotics. Many entries are the names of languages, language groups, or countries. Others cover such topics as writing systems, punctuation, traditional grammar, and poetics, while still others are terms from phonetics, language typology, transformational grammar, case grammar, neurolinguistics, and related fields. Illustrations include audiograms of two forms of hearing loss, Chinese characters, and the Indo-European family tree. Recommended especially for academic and larger public libraries.-- Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook
In this guide to linguistic concepts and names, linguistic does not mean the technical terminology of linguistic sciences, but language in a more everyday sense. Terms are drawn from the various applied areas of language study, such as language teaching, speech pathology, stylistics, typography, and lexicography, as well as from core topics such as grammar, figures of speech, and basic phonetics. Some 2,750 cross-referenced entries are concisely defined in non- technical language. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Zom Zoms
Crystal, a professional fellow of the University College of North Wales, has written extensively in the field of linguistics, language acquisition, prosody, style, and grammar. He prepared the "Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages" ("EDLL") to "combine the convenience of an alphabetical dictionary with the general range of a thematic encyclopedia." The latter, of course, is his "Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language" ("CEL") ["RBB" Je 15 88]. In this new work, he adds terms from linguistics, but the emphasis is on language "EDLL" is arranged alphabetically, letter by letter, with cross-references to key concepts in capital letters at the end of each entry, which creates a "cats cradle" effect, leading the reader back and forth through a fascinating body of knowledge on language. In addition, words and phrases in boldface type within each entry highlight important ideas that lead to more entries. The author assumes a certain sophistication on the part of the reader; pronunciation is provided only where deemed necesary, excluding words like "implicature" and "glottochronology". British spelling is preferred, although U.S. spelling is mentioned in some entries, for example, ""centre" (UK) or "center" (US). Highly useful are the entries for countries, which include the population in 1990 and official languages, lingua francas, and dialects spoken by small percentages of the population. One nice feature is the ease with which extinct languages such as Anatolian can be identified quickly. In "CEL", the reader must dig into eight appendixes before locating that information. In addition to entries for language families, grammatical terms, and diacritics, names of such individuals as Edward Sapir are included, with cross-references to their contributions. Acronyms and abbreviations are treated in alphabetical order with cross-references to the full wording. Enhancing the dictionary are illustrations such as a depiction of the runic alphabet and six different ways to notate intonation Crystal mined the thematically arranged "CEL" for important terms and concepts, organized the information alphabetically, and made the data eminently more accessible in this new work. Public and academic libraries that can afford both the richly rewarding "CEL" and the more practical "EDLL" should purchase both. If a library can purchase only one, prefer the "CEL".

Product Details

Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date:
Blackwell Reference
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.43(d)

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