Posted on: July 23, 2020
Questions About Language, 1st Edition
What Everyone Should Know About Language in the 21st Century
By Laurie Bauer, Andreea S. Calude
We hope Questions About Language, What Everyone Should Know About Language in the 21st Century will generate interest and curiosity about language and inspire people to learn more about the field of linguistics, the field whose business it is to study language, in all its forms, across the whole globe. Is swearing a sign of poor vocabulary? Does your environment or climate affect and mold your language? Can one lose their first language? All these questions are about real individuals and say something about us as a species.
Yes, you can lose your first language and people do! Language is used to communicate, not just informational content but also a lot of attitudinal and personal content, including one's sexuality. Because language reflects such a personal flavour of ourselves, it is almost impossible to disguise ourselves when communicating, be it in writing or speech (for very long anyway).
One of the most challenging aspects of developing this book for me was learning to ask the right questions - questions which would be both interesting to a wide audience and answerable by linguists. Not just answerable, but answerable in such a manner that the answer could be put in simple, clear language, free of linguistic jargon. It was also an interesting challenge to manage roughly ten other collaborators!
Questions About Language, What Everyone Should Know About Language in the 21st Century came about from many fun and challenging discussions with my co-editor, Laurie Bauer. We bounced ideas in person and via email, until we polished what we thought would be the most exciting questions to ask. Once we established the questions we wanted to answer, we set out to find the experts - around the world - who could write answers to them in an exciting and clear way.