Investigating Language: Central Problems in Linguistics

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This book is intended for anyone with a serious interest in language, but particularly for students taking introductory courses in language and linguistics. It is not a catalogue of facts and theories but a book about ideas and issues. Rather than summarize the range of research being conducted in linguistics today, it explores a number of the fundamental key questions which concern linguists, they are treated in way that is as accessible as possible. The book includes a glossary of technical terms and a chapter ...

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Ex-library from a university library with the usual stampings, markings, and barcodes. Slight rubbing and edgewear to boards and spine. Interior is clean, and binding is firm and ... straight. No dust-jacket. Read more Show Less

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Overview

This book is intended for anyone with a serious interest in language, but particularly for students taking introductory courses in language and linguistics. It is not a catalogue of facts and theories but a book about ideas and issues. Rather than summarize the range of research being conducted in linguistics today, it explores a number of the fundamental key questions which concern linguists, they are treated in way that is as accessible as possible. The book includes a glossary of technical terms and a chapter outlining the way language is described in generative grammar.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A most readable guide to the questions, data and theories of contemporary linguistics." Charles W. Kreidler, Georgetown University

"The competing paradigms for investigating language are introduced with great skill and without unnecessary technical details or jargon. I enjoyed reading it." Broj B. Kachru, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631187530
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1993
  • Series: The Language Library
  • Pages: 272

Meet the Author

Ronald Wardhaugh is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 How might we talk about 'talk'? 1
1.1 Some traditional views 1
1.2 A more promising approach 7
1.3 A variety of possibilities 12
1.4 Still wider considerations 18
2 Do only humans talk? 34
2.1 Mainly of birds and bees 36
2.2 Talking apes? 42
2.3 The 'language' issue 56
2.4 The 'continuity' issue 61
3 Are we 'wired' for language? 67
3.1 Are mouths and ears important? 69
3.2 The puzzle of the brain 82
4 Does the mind matter? 94
4.1 'Behaviour' and 'mind' 94
4.2 Taking in what we hear 98
4.3 Memories are made of what? 107
4.4 Getting our words out 115
5 Why do languages vary so? 130
5.1 Speaking a language differently 133
5.2 Relating different languages 145
5.3 Other types of variation 157
5.4 Is variety useful? 166
6 Of what use is language? 168
6.1 Language as action 170
6.2 Language in action 179
6.3 The functions of language 190
6.4 Can language use us? 197
7 How do we 'learn' a language? 208
7.1 'Facts' to be explained 210
7.2 What does 'learning theory' tell us? 216
7.3 Is the 'mind' in control? 223
7.4 Is language ability 'innate'? 232
7.5 What we do 'learn' 239
8 Describing language 250
Glossary of language terms 264
Further reading 273
References 275
Index 288
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