A Little Book of Language
David Crystal
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Out Of Stock

With a language disappearing every two weeks and neologisms springing up almost daily, an understanding of the origins and currency of language has never seemed more relevant. In this charming volume, expert linguist David Crystal proves why the story of language deserves retelling.

From an infant’s first words to the peculiar dialect of text messaging, A Little Book of Language ranges widely, revealing language’s myriad intricacies and quirks. Crystal delves into the development of unique linguistic styles, the origins of obscure accents and the search for the first written word. He discusses the plight of endangered languages, as well as successful cases of linguistic revitalisation. Much more than a history, this book also turns to the future of language, exploring the effect of technology on our day-to-day reading, writing and speech. Through enlightening diagrams and quizzes, as well as Crystal’s avuncular and entertaining style, A Little Book of Language reveals the story of language to be a captivating tale for all ages.

David Crystal is one of the world’s pre-eminent language specialists. An honorary professor at Bangor University, he has published many books on the English language and linguistics, edited several general encyclopedias and written textbooks on language for use in schools. A regular contributor to radio and television programmes, his recent books include The Stories of English (2004), Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 (2008)and Just a Phrase I’m Going Through (2009). He lives in Holyhead, Wales.

  1. Baby-Talk
  2. From Cries to Words
  3. Learning How to Understand
  4. Making Vibrations
  5. Pronouncing Sounds
  6. Discovering Grammar
  7. Having a Conversation
  8. Learning to Read and Write
  9. Getting to Grips with Spelling
  10. Spelling Rules and Variations
  11. Grammar Rules and Variations
  12. Accents and Dialects
  13. Being Bilingual
  14. The Language of the World
  15. The Origins of Speech
  16. The Origins of Writing
  17. Modern Writing
  18. Sign Language
  19. Comparing Languages
  20. Dying Languages
  21. Language Change
  22. Language Variation
  23. Language at Work
  24. Slang
  25. Dictionaries
  26. Etymology
  27. Place Names
  28. Personal Names
  29. The Electronic Revolution
  30. Texting
  31. Language at Play
  32. Why Use Language?
  33. Language For Feelings
  34. Political Correctness
  35. Language in Literature
  36. Developing a Style
  37. The Complexity of Language
  38. Linguistics
  39. Applied Linguistics
  40. Your Language World
  41. Index
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