Why Study Linguistics  book cover
1st Edition

Why Study Linguistics

ISBN 9781138925885
Published September 10, 2018 by Routledge
232 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Why Study Linguistics is designed to help anyone with an interest in studying language understand what linguistics is, and what linguists do. Exploring how the scientific study of language differs from other ways of investigating this uniquely human behavior, Why Study Linguistics: 

  • explores the various topics that students of linguistics study, including sound systems of language, the structure of words and sentences and their meanings, and the wider social context of language change and language variation; 
  • explains what you might do with a degree in linguistics and the kinds of jobs and careers that studying linguistics prepares you for;
  • is supported by a list of links to additional resources available online. 

This book is the first of its kind and will be essential reading for anyone considering a course of study in this fascinating subject, as well as teachers, advisors, student mentors, and anyone who wants to know more about the scientific study of language.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 - Why read this book

Chapter 2 - Questions Linguists Study

Chapter 3 - The Study of Sound: Phonetics and Phonology

Chapter 4 - The Study of Words: Morphology

Chapter 5 - The Study of Sentence Structure: Syntax

Chapter 6 - The Study of Meaning: Semantics and Pragmatics

Chapter 7 - Studying Language Change

Chapter 8 - Studying Language Variation, Language in Society

Chapter 9 - Studying Language in the Brain

Chapter 10 - After Studying Linguistics



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Kristin Denham is Professor of Linguistics at Western Washington University, USA.

Anne Lobeck is Professor of Linguistics at Western Washington University, USA.


"This is a remarkably clear and accessible first introduction to linguistics. Building on students' background knowledge and assumptions, it makes the case for studying language to those who may have never considered doing so. The text's compactness makes it ideal for assigning not only in an introductory linguistics course but also as a supplement to courses in other subjects. The final chapter, which highlights the many ways linguistics can be useful in careers, will be of great interest to both current and prospective students of linguistics."

Lise Dobrin, University of Virginia, USA