Language in the Real World: An Introduction to Linguistics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Language in the Real World

An Introduction to Linguistics, 1st Edition

Edited by Susan J. Behrens, Judith A. Parker


392 pages

Companion Website
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415774680
pub: 2010-05-05
Hardback: 9780415774673
pub: 2010-07-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203839812
pub: 2010-05-13
from $32.98

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Language in the Real World challenges traditional approaches to linguistics to provide an innovative introduction to the subject. By first examining the real world applications of core areas of linguistics and then addressing the theory behind these applications, this text offers an inductive, illustrative, and interactive overview for students. Key areas covered include animal communication, phonology, language variation, gender and power, lexicography, translation, forensic linguistics, language acquisition, ASL, and language disorders. Each chapter, written by an expert in the field, is introduced by boxed notes listing the key points covered and features an author’s note to readers that situates the chapter in its real world context. Activities and pointers for further study and reading are also integrated into the chapters and an end of text glossary is provided to aid study.

Professors and students will benefit from the interactive Companion Website that includes a student section featuring comments and hints on the chapter exercises within the book, a series of flash cards to test knowledge and further reading and links to key resources. Material for professors includes essay and multiple choice questions based on each chapter and additional general discussion topics.

Language in the Real World shows that linguistics can be appreciated, studied, and enjoyed by actively engaging real world applications of linguistic knowledge and principles and will be essential reading for students with an interest in language.

Visit the Companion Website at


"Language in the Real World offers students in various courses a novel and accessible introduction to linguistics as a multidiscipline. Written by practitioners of the applications it represents, Language in the Real World engages it audience by demonstrating how the study of language illuminates questions of social, clinical, and intellectual moment." -Mark Letourneau, Weber State University, USA

"This collection of timely chapters with interactive exercises will inspire students to think broadly about the application of linguistics in a variety of fields. It can help students decide on careers and better appreciate the richness of language in the world around them." - William F. Katz, University of Texas at Dallas, USA

"More than other introductory texts, the book will help students see which careers linguistic knowledge can make possible and furthermore, for introductory students, how their linguistic knowledge can help them in their other academic and social pursuits."

-- LANGUAGE (Journal of the Linguistic Society of America)

"(T)his volume has managed to show how language intersects with the world and with disciplines as varied as anthropology, forensics, law, psychology, social justice and women's studies. The authors' notes to the reader personalise the beginning of each chapter as they share their relationship with language and/or linguistics…While the collection does indeed live up to its claim of being ‘a different kind of book’, it has not lost any of the useful features of a more traditional undergraduate linguistics textbook. For example, each chapter begins with a list of key points to be covered, and contains interesting and interactive exercises and resources, as well as references to and examples from languages other than English. In addition, the book is well laid out, easy to follow and for the most part (with the exception of two chapters), written clearly and accessibly. There is also a comprehensive glossary which includes chapter references to where the term is discussed in depth. The companion website with student and teacher resources is an innovative addition, with chapter comments, flash cards and multiple choice questions for revision, weblinks…and videos…As a practising linguist, this volume refreshed and broadened my own knowledge of linguistics, and provided me with ideas for teaching. Readers from other disciplines will also enjoy this volume, and potential or beginning students of linguistics will find much of interest here, in particular how language and linguistics affects their lives in many more ways than they would have imagined."- Kerry Mullan, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics

Table of Contents

Part I: Language, Education and Cultural Change 1. Language Variation: Students and teachers reflect on accents and dialects, Susan J. Behrens and Rebecca L. Sperling 2. Speech Communities: Language as a mediator of messages and perceptions, Miriam Eisenstein Ebsworth 3. Teaching Pronunciation: Using phonology in the ESL and foreign language classroom, Joanna Labov Part II: Literature, Translation and Computers 4. Lexicography: What dictionaries reveal about language and lexicographers, Paul Fallon 5. Text Translation: Approaching otherness, Mary Boldt and Esperanza Roncero 6. Machine Translation: The challenge of ambiguity, Nan Decker 7. Transgressive Language: The 'n- word' and the 'f- word' in popular

culture and all that Jazz, Carmen Gillespie Part III: Language, Power, and Identity 8. Language, Power, and Sexual Assault: Women's voices on rape and social change, Judith A. Parker and Deborah Mahlstedt 9. Gender, Language and Power: Surname or sirname? Diana Boxer 10. The Possibility of Linguistics as a Forensic Science: The case of author identification, Carole E. Chaski Part IV: Forms of Language and Communication 11. First Language Acquisition: Developing native linguistic competence, Janine Graziano-King and Helen Cairns 12. ASL: A visual language, Miako Villanueva, Deanna Twain, and Laura Wood 13. Animal Communication: The "language" of honey bees, Wyatt Mangum Part V: Language and Communication Science 14. Communication Disorders: A personal perspective, Ann Jablon 15. Analyzing narratives: An example of cross cultural research methods, Cecile Stein 16. Neurolinguistics and Psycholinguistics: Contributions to healthy aging and dementia, Yael Neumann, Linda Carozza, and Anastasia Georgiou 17. Autism and Language: The two worlds underlying verbal communication, Marion Blank and Mary Beth Cull

About the Editors

Susan J. Behrens is Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Marymount Manhattan College, New York City, USA.

Judith A. Parker is Professor of English and Linguistics at the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA.

Subject Categories

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