Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication / Edition 6

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This popular introductory linguistics text is unique for its integration of themes. Rather than treat morphology, phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics as completely separate fields, the book shows how they interact. It provides a sound introduction to linguistic methodology while encouraging students to consider why people are intrinsically interested in language—the ultimate puzzle of the human mind.

The text first treats such structural and interpretive parts of language as morphology, phonology, syntax, and semantics, then takes a cognitive perspective and covers such topics as pragmatics, psychology of language, language acquisition, and language and the brain. For this sixth edition, all chapters have been revised. New material includes updated examples, new special topics sections,and new discussions of the minimalist program, semantic minimalism, human genetic relationships and historical relationships among languages, Gricean theories,experimental pragmatics, and language acquisition.

The organization of the book gives instructors flexibility in designing their courses.

Chapters have numerous subsections with core material presented first and additional material following as special topics. The accompanying workbook supplements the text with exercises drawn from a variety of languages. The goal is to teach basic conceptual foundations of linguistics and the methods of argumentation,justification, and hypothesis testing within the field. By presenting the most fundamental linguistics concepts in detail, the text allows students to get a feeling for how real work in different areas of linguistics is done.

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Editorial Reviews

The first part deals with the structural and interpretive parts of language: morphology, phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, variation, and change. The second part is cognitively oriented and includes chapters on pragmatics, psychology of language, language acquisition, and language and the brain. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262513708
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2010
  • Edition description: sixth edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 648
  • Sales rank: 257,736
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Adrian Akmajian was Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

Richard A. Demers is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

Ann K. Farmer is an Information Engineer at Google.

The late Robert M. Harnish was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

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Table of Contents

Note to the Teacher
Ch. 1 What Is Linguistics? 5
Ch. 2 Morphology: The Study of the Structure of Words 11
Ch. 3 Phonetics and Phonemic Transcription 65
Ch. 4 Phonology: The Study of Sound Structure 109
Ch. 5 Syntax: The Study of Sentence Structure 149
Ch. 6 Semantics: The Study of Linguistic Meaning 227
Ch. 7 Language Variation 275
Ch. 8 Language Change 315
Ch. 9 Pragmatics: The Study of Language Use and Communication 361
Ch. 10 Psychology of Language: Speech Production and Comprehension 417
Ch. 11 Language Acquisition in Children 477
Ch. 12 Language and the Brain 527
App The Written Representation of Language 561
Glossary 571
Index 591
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2003

    Linguistics: ¿the scientific study of human language¿

    This textbook is an introduction to linguistics, an academic field dedicated exclusively to the study of various aspects of human language: morphology, phonetics, phonology, semantics and syntax, language variation, language change and pragmatics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. It explores what languages are like, how they are analyzed, how they change, how they are acquired and taught, how they differ from culture to culture and how social relations are reflected in languages. In addition, it helps students in the field to explore, develop and to strengthen research and analytical skills in all pursued areas of the field. The chapters regarding structure of language are well developed and well presented. For students learning linguistics, the first 8 chapters are necessary to learn and very important to help them to teach grammar. There is a workbook that accompanies the text and together with the exercises offered at the end of each chapter would make native speakers to logically follow and understand concepts. NEVERTHELESS, there are some shortcomings with regards to the second part of the text. Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 could not reconcile on the need for emphasis on the theoretical perspectives discussed in the chapters. The phrase ¿but more research is needed¿ and ¿most of all the results of these researches were done with animals and not humans¿, gives me an indication of a backdrop leading to ineffective information. We cannot rely on the claims presented on the second part of this text because it provides us with assumptions not facts. In sum, more research is needed with regards to the second part of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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