A Concise Introduction to Linguistics  book cover
5th Edition

A Concise Introduction to Linguistics

ISBN 9780415786508
Published July 23, 2018 by Routledge
432 Pages 71 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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



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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.