The Language Web: The Power and Problem of Words - The 1996 BBC Reith Lectures

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Language is like a vast spider's web. In this volume Jean Aitchison explores different facets of this web. She begins with the cobweb of false worries which surrounds language. She then discusses how language evolved in the human species, how children acquire it, and how educated English speakers remember 50,000 or more words. Finally, she argues that people are right to be concerned about language, though not in the ways traditionally assumed. This is the text of the 1996 BBC Reith lectures, slightly revised for...
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Overview

Language is like a vast spider's web. In this volume Jean Aitchison explores different facets of this web. She begins with the cobweb of false worries which surrounds language. She then discusses how language evolved in the human species, how children acquire it, and how educated English speakers remember 50,000 or more words. Finally, she argues that people are right to be concerned about language, though not in the ways traditionally assumed. This is the text of the 1996 BBC Reith lectures, slightly revised for publication, with illustrations and full references, and an Afterword which looks at the reception of the lectures.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521573856
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/21/1996
  • Series: 1996 BBC Reith Lectures Series
  • Pages: 153
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1 A web of worries: Anxiety about language 1
2 A web of deceit: The origin of language 21
3 Building the web: Acquiring language 41
4 A web of words: Remembering words 61
5 A world-wide web: Options and snares 79
Afterword: Stirring up a hornets' nest: responses to the Reith lectures 97
Notes 107
References 125
Index 135
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