LINGUIST List 10.510

Thu Apr 8 1999

Books: General Linguistics

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  1. Mike Groseth, Soviet Yiddish, Intro to Psycholinguistics for the layperson

Message 1: Soviet Yiddish, Intro to Psycholinguistics for the layperson

Date: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 09:42:33 -0500
From: Mike Groseth <MJGOUP-USA.ORG>
Subject: Soviet Yiddish, Intro to Psycholinguistics for the layperson

SOVIET YIDDISH: Language-Planning and Linguistic Development
Gennady Estraikh
(Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs)

This first comprehensive study of Yiddish in the former Soviet Union
chronicles orthographic and other reforms from the state of the language
in pre-revolutionary Russia, through active language-planning in the
1920s and 1930s, repression, and subsequent developments up to the

April 1999 232 pp.
0-19-818479-4 $70.00
Oxford University Press


THE ASCENT OF BABEL: An Exploration of Language, Mind, and
Gerry T. M. Altmann, University of York
Illustrated by Andrea Enzinger

"Altmann has written a cross between a textbook for beginning
psycholinguistic students and a popular science book for
laypersons.... Altmann explains in lay terms what psycholinguistics
is and how its findings affect what we know of human

With The Ascent of Babel, psycholinguist Gerry Altmann takes us on a
journey of discovery, illuminating how, through the workings of the
brain, we use language to reach out and touch each other's
minds. Here, he explores the ways in which the mind produces and
understands language: the ways in which the sounds of language evoke
meaning, and the ways in which the desire to communicate causes us to
produce those sounds to begin with.

Altmann begins even before we are born, revealing that the fetus in
the last trimester is already listening to the language of its parents
and that, within days of birth, it can distinguish its parents'
language from other languages. From how babies learn language and how
we discriminate between different sounds, through comprehension of the
sounds and structures of language (and the pitfalls along the way), to
the production of spoken and written language, the effects of brain
damage on language, and finally the ways in which computer simulations
of interconnecting nerve cells can learn language, Altmann offers a
wide-ranging, engaging tour. Up to date, authoritative, and
engagingly written, The Ascent of Babel is must reading for everyone
curious about the mysteries of language or of the mind.

1997 (paper May 1999) 272 pp.; 47 drawings
0-19-852377-7 paper $17.95
0-19-852378-5 cloth $27.50
Oxford University Press
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1998 Contributors

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  • Anthropological Linguistics
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Cascadilla Press
  • Cassell
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Finno-Ugrian Society
  • Garland Publishing
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  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Hermes
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics