6th Edition

A Concise Introduction to Linguistics

By Bruce M. Rowe, Diane P. Levine Copyright 2023
    432 Pages 73 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    432 Pages 73 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Now in its sixth 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 an expanded section on trans and nonbinary 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 a full International Phonetic Alphabet chart, new exercises with languages other than English, and new illustrations.


    1 Introduction: The Nature of Communication

    2 Phonetics: The Sounds Used in Languages

    3 Phonology: The Sound Patterns Used in Languages

    4 Morphology: Words and How they are Formed

    5 Syntax: The Larger Patterns of Language

    6 Semantics: The Study of Meaning

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

    8 Sociolinguistics: Language and Society

    9 Linguistic Anthropology: Language and Culture

    10 Language Acquisition: How Children (and others) Learn Language

    11 Sign Language: The Language of the Deaf Community

    12 Writing Systems: The Graphic Representation of Language

    13 Nonverbal Communication: Communicating Without Words

    14 Historical Linguistics: The History of Languages

    Appendix A: Answers to Reviews of Terms and Concepts

    Appendix B: Answers to Selected Exercises

    Appendix C: Fieldwork Exercises

    Appendix D: Chart of full International Phonetic Alphabet (revised 2020)



    Bruce M. Rowe is a professor emeritus of anthropology at Los Angeles Pierce College, USA, where he has taught since 1970. He designed the college’s first linguistics course for students majoring or minoring in linguistics, anthropology, education, English, interpreting for the deaf, and communications studies, and for those fulfilling a general education requirement. Professor Rowe also teaches physical and cultural anthropology as well as sociology. In addition to A Concise Introduction to Linguistics, he has coauthored twelve editions of Physical Anthropology, two editions of Physical Anthropology: The Core, and physical anthropology study guides and workbooks (all with Philip L. Stein—Brian Pierson co-authored the 12th ed. of the Physical Anthropology textbook). Professor Rowe has authored four editions of The College Survival Guide: Hints and References to Aid College Students and The College Awareness Guide: What Students Need to Know to Succeed in College. He has also written 4 children’s books on different groups of animals. He has received numerous awards for teaching. He has been a fellow of the American Anthropological Association, a member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges, and the Linguistic Society of America.

    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. She was the chair of the Department of Anthropological and Geographical Sciences. As a former teacher of English and English as a second language (ESL), she has written articles on the use of literature in the ESL classroom, and presented seminars on critical thinking in the language arts classroom. Professor Levine was on the advisory board for Annual Editions: Anthropology and was also a national advisor for the Emmy Award-winning film series Cultural Anthropology: Our Diverse World. She is a member of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges. In her retirement she leads archaeology tours for elementary school students at a local museum and tutors middle school students in reading Hebrew.