A Short Introduction to the Study of Language provides an accessible and up-to-date invitation to key concepts of modern language study. Readers gain awareness of the scientific approach to language through examination of varied topics of current research interest. The book explores the following issues: How are young children, who have limited general cognitive capability, able to automatically pick up and use any language that is in their environment, quickly, easily and without effort? Do other animals have language - what about the complex communication systems of apes, bees and cephalods? What happens when an individual is raised in an environment in which they are not exposed to language? Are some languages simpler than others - do some languages lack grammar? Is English getting worse over time, and is there one "correct" way to speak English? This book introduces readers to work that linguists are engaged in today which explores these questions, and sheds light on a number of widespread myths and misconceptions about language.
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About the Author
Ellen Thompson is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Florida International University in Miami.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 What is Language? Chapter 2 Language and Other Animal Communication Systems Chapter 3 Teaching Human Language to Apes Chapter 4 Language Learning Chapter 5 Experiments in Language Acquisition Chapter 6 Abnormal Language Chapter 7 Bilingualism Chapter 8 Are there Primitive Languages? Chapter 9 Non-Standard Dialects