How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die

David Crystal, Author . Overlook $30 (500p) ISBN 978-1-58567-848-8

A world authority on language, Crystal (The Stories of English ) offers an impeccably organized guide to language and communication that brings clarity to a scholarly subject, and is sure to become a standard reference. Written in an unadorned style, Crystal's chapters are purposeful lessons ("How we use tone of voice"; "How children learn to mean"; "How we choose what to say") that demonstrate his pedagogical genius for rendering complex matters simple. Crystal's tome imparts a vast amount of knowledge concerning intricate and interrelated aspects of speech, the written word, lexicography, grammar and neurological aspects of communication; it encompasses issues of identity, ethnicity and the preservation of disappearing languages, the structural organization of the world's different language families, multilingualism, and the pragmatic uses of artificial and natural languages. A feat of academic distillation, Crystal's book abounds in wisdom and dry wit. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 06/26/2006
Release date: 12/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 500 pages - 978-0-14-101552-1
Open Ebook - 978-1-4295-8766-2
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-41205-3
Paperback - 500 pages - 978-1-58333-291-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-4295-8767-9
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