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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

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Title: Understanding Language through Humor
Written By: Stanley Dubinsky
Chris Holcomb

Students often struggle to understand linguistic concepts through examples of language data provided in class or in texts. Presented with ambiguous information, students frequently respond that they don't 'get it'. The solution is to find an example of humour that relies on the targeted ambiguity. Once they laugh at the joke, they have tacitly understood the concept, and then it is only a matter of explaining why they found it funny. Utilizing cartoons and jokes illustrating linguistic concepts, this book makes it easy to understand these concepts, while keeping the reader's attention and interest. Organized like a course textbook in linguistics, it covers all the major topics in a typical linguistics survey course, including communication systems, phonetics and phonology, morphemes, words, phrases, sentences, language use, discourses, child language acquisition and language variation, while avoiding technical terminology. Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Talking to Garfield: human and animal communication 3. Did I hear that right? The sounds of language 4. Twisted words: word structure and meaning 5. Fitting words together: phrase structure and meaning 6. Meaning one thing and saying another: indirect speech and conversational principles 7. Fitting the pieces together: the structure of discourse 8. 'Kids say the darndest things': children acquiring language 9. Variety is the spice of life: language variation 10. Cross-cultural gaffes: language and culture 11. The language police: prescriptivism and standardization 12. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780521713887
Pages: 212
Prices: U.S. $ 30.99