'This book is a beautifully organized, clear and readable introduction to the field of linguistics. The writing is lively and interesting, while at the same time presenting complex and often technical ideas in a manner that's both accurate and accessible. Students brand new to the discipline will enjoy reading this book, and linguists who teach introductory courses will benefit from its clear and direct explanations.'
- Amy Fountain, Adjunct lecturer in the Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona, USA
Understanding Language is an introduction to linguistics aimed at non-major undergraduate students who are new to the subject. The book is comprehensive in its coverage of the key areas of linguistics, yet explains these in an easy to understand, jargon-free way. Pictures, jokes, diagrams, tables and suggestions for further reading make this an accessible, student friendly guide which should enable students to navigate this often complicated area of study. Topics covered include language acquisition; speech sounds; the make-up of words; grammar; meaning; communication; the history of English; language variation and change. This is an essential introduction for any student taking linguistics at university, whether as their main subject of study, as part of a general education course, or in conjunction with related fields.