A Concise Introduction to Linguistics: 5th Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Concise Introduction to Linguistics

5th Edition

By Bruce M. Rowe, Diane P. Levine


414 pages | 71 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415786508
pub: 2018-07-13
Hardback: 9780415786515
pub: 2018-07-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315227283
pub: 2018-07-17
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Now in its fifth edition, A Concise Introduction to Linguistics provides students with a detailed introduction to the core concepts of language as it relates to culture. The textbook includes a focus on linguistic anthropology, unpacking the main contributions of linguistics to the study of human communication and culture. Aimed at the general education student, the textbook also provides anthropology, linguistics, and English majors with the resources needed to pursue advanced courses in this area.

Written in an accessible manner that does not assume previous knowledge of linguistics, this new edition contains expanded discussions on linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics (including a section on gender and language), and pragmatics. The textbook incorporates a robust set of pedagogical features including marginal definitions, a substantial glossary, chapter summaries, and learning exercises. Brand new to this edition are suggested reading lists at the end of every chapter, and recommended websites and apps to further aid students in their study.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction: The Nature of Communication

The Nature of Communication

Nonhuman and Human Communication Compared

Chimpanzees and Gorillas in Controlled Environments

Skepticism over Ape-Language Studies

2. Phonetics: The Sounds Used in Languages

Articulatory Phonetics

Consonants and Vowels

Syllables and Syllabic Consonants


3. Phonology: The Sound Patterns Used in Languages

The Phoneme and the Concept of Significant Differences in Sounds

Distinctive Feature Analysis

Phonological Processes

The Continuous and Complex Nature of Speech, Revised

4. Morphology: Words and How they are Formed

The Morpheme

Morphological Typology

How New Words Are Formed

Lexical Categories (Parts of Speech)

5. Syntax: The Larger Patterns of Language

Syntactic Construction

The Constituent Structure of Sentences

Phrase Structure Rules

Transformational Rules

Optional and Obligatory Transformations

Grammaticality Judgments and Ambiguity

6. Semantics: The Study of Meaning

Language is a System of Symbols

The Meaning of Words: Lexical Semantics

The -nyms

Other Kinds of Meaning: Structural Semantics

Entailment and Presupposition

7. Pragmatics: How Language is Used and The Effect of Context on Meaning

Speech Acts

Social Meaning

Affective Meaning

Politeness Theory

Discourse Analysis

Greeting Rituals

Maxims of Conversation

Other Examples of these four Maxims of Conversation

Cross-Cultural Maxims of Conversation

Difficulty in Processing Pragmatics

8. Sociolinguistics: Language and Society

Regional Dialects

African American English

Hispanic English

Contact Languages: Pidgin and Creole

Situational Dialects or Registers

Gender and Language

9. Linguistic Anthropology: Language and Culture

Linguistic Anthropology and Other Subfields of Anthropology

Disappearing, Reappearing, and Emerging Languages

Language, Culture, Linguistic Relativism, and Linguistic Relativity


Language and Identity

Language Enculturation: Three Examples

Language and Nationalism

10. Language Acquisition

Language and the Brain

Ideas about Language Aquisition

How Do Children Acquire the Components of Language?

Non Verbal Communication


11. Sign Language

The Nature of Sign Language

What Is ASL?

Nicaraguan Sign Language: The Birth of a New Language

Social Dimensions of Sign Language

12. Writing Systems

Writing Is Secondary to Speech and Sign Language

Types of Writing Systems

The History of Writing

The Printing Press

A Few Words about Computers

13. Nonverbal Communication

What Does “Nonverbal” Mean?

Kinesic Behavior

Affect Displays

The Eyes Have it

Physical Appearance

Touching (Tactile) Behavior



The Physical Environment

A Brief Word about Nonverbal -Type Communication in Cyberspace

“How-To” Books and Apps: A Word of Caution

14. Historical Linguistics

The Relationships among Languages

Types of Language Change

How Long Does It Take a Language to Change?

The Spread of Englishes

New Jargons

Appendix A: Answers to Reviews of Terms and Concepts

Appendix B: Answers to Selected Exercises

Appendix C: Fieldwork Exercises



About the Authors


Diane P Levine

Woodland Hills, CA, United States

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Bruce M Rowe

Los Angeles , California, Los Angeles

Learn more about Bruce M Rowe >>

Bruce M. Rowe is a professor emeritus of anthropology at Los Angeles Pierce College, USA, where he has taught since 1970.

Diane P. Levine is a professor emerita of anthropology at Los Angeles Pierce College, USA, where she has taught cultural and physical anthropology, as well as linguistics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics