Questions about Language: What Everyone Should Know About Language in the 21st Century, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Questions about Language

What Everyone Should Know About Language in the 21st Century, 1st Edition

Edited by Laurie Bauer, Andreea Calude

Routledge

208 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2020-05-11
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Description

Questions about Language sets out to answer, in a readable yet insightful format, a series of vital questions about language, some of which language specialists are regularly asked, and some of which are so surprising that only the specialists think about them.

With an introduction by the editors, in this handy guide, sixteen experts in the field answer some challenging questions about language from, What makes a language a language? to Do people swear because they don’t know enough words? Illustrating the complexity of human language, and the way in which we use it, the twelve chapters each end with a section on further reading for anyone interested in following up on the topic.

Covering core questions about language, this is essential reading for both students new to language and linguistics and the interested general reader.

Reviews

Suitable for expert and non-expert readers alike, this book offers accessible, thought-provoking and up-to-date discussions of a range of language-related topics. Engaging with a variety of questions from across the field of linguistics, the expert authors challenge commonly-held assumptions, prompting the reader to reflect on their own language attitudes and practices.

Kate Scott, Kingston University, UK

Table of Contents

About the contributors

List of Figures

List of Tables

Introduction

1. Do animals communicate using a language?

Stephen R. Anderson

2. Is talking work doing work?

Jo Angouri and Ifigenia Machili

3. What makes a language a language?

Laurie Bauer

4. Do people swear because they don’t know enough words?

Kate Burridge

5. Is written language better than spoken language?

Andreea S. Calude

6. Is language change good or bad?

Lyle Campbell and Russell Barlow

7. Are the sounds of language influenced by climate, environment and biology?

Dan Dediu and Scott R. Moisik

8. Can you tell someone’s sexuality from the way they speak?

Evan Hazenberg

9. Is learning a signed language easier than learning a spoken language?

Sara Pivac Alexander and George Major

10. Can you forget your native language?

Monika S. Schmid

11. Can people really disguise themselves when writing or speaking?

Corinne A. Seals and Natalie Schilling

12. What is universal about intonation?

Paul Warren

Index

About the Editors

Laurie Bauer FRSNZ in Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of over twenty books including The Oxford reference guide to English morphology (2013), which won the LSA’s Leonard Bloomfield Prize. In 2017 he was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Humanities Medal.

Andreea S. Calude is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Waikato, in New Zealand. She has a background in mathematics and linguistics and researches (spoken) grammar, language evolution, loanwords and just about any quantitative language-related question she can get data on.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAN009000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General