"Understanding Language" is an introduction to linguistics aimed at non-major undergraduate students who are new to the subject. The book is comprehensive in its coverage of the key areas of linguistics, yet explains these in an easy to understand, jargon-free way. Pictures, jokes, diagrams, tables and suggestions for further reading make this an accessible, student-friendly guide which should enable students to navigate this often complicated area of study. Topics covered include language acquisition; speech sounds; the make-up of words; grammar; meaning; communication; the history of English; language variation and change. This is an essential introduction for students who are taking linguistics at university, whether as their core subject of study, as a non-major or as a bridge between school and undergraduate.
Table of Contents
1. What Every Native Speaker of a Language Secretly Understands; 2. Human Language versus Animal Communication; 3. Language Acquisition; 4. Phonetics; 5. Morphology: The Makeup of Words in a Language; 6. Grammar; 7. Semantics; 8. Pragmatics; 9. The History of English; 10. Language Variation and Change; 11. Language Death, Revival, and Language Rights.
Dr Elizabeth Grace Winkler is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Western Kentucky.