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How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

David Crystal
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Taschenbuch EUR 12,97  
Taschenbuch, 5. Januar 2006 --  

Kurzbeschreibung

5. Januar 2006
In this fascinating survey of everything from how sounds become speech to how names work, David Crystal answers every question you might ever have had about the nuts and bolts of language in his usual highly illuminating way. Along the way we find out about eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, how parents teach their children to speak, how politeness travels across languages and how the way we talk show not just how old we are but where we're from and even who we want to be.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 512 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin UK (5. Januar 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0140515380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140515381
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,6 x 15,6 x 4,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.066.603 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

  “[Crystal] succeeds again and again with clarity, wit, and enthusiasm. . . . Time and again a point is made and illustrated with a fact or anecdote that perfectly drives it home. . . . It is a marvelous ride.”
The New York Times

  “An invigorating plunge . . . A crash course in linguistics, covering spoken, written, and sign language . . . The book will prove, to language geeks, invaluable.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune

  “An impeccably organized guide to language . . . sure to become a standard reference.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Synopsis

In this fascinating survey of everything from how sounds become speech to how names work, David Crystal answers every question you might ever have had about the nuts and bolts of language in his usual highly illuminating way. Along the way we find out about eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, how parents teach their children to speak, how politeness travels across languages and how the way we talk show not just how old we are but where we're from and even who we want to be.

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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great beginner's guide to basics in language! 24. Juni 2006
Von S. Schaub
Format:Taschenbuch
Crystal did a good job at writing an introductory work to language in general, with the target group being interested non-linguists. The language is plain and clear, the reader does not need to have any preknowledge in linguistics, and the many short chapters are written in an informative, interesting way.

Of course, the chapters are very short and can by no means be used as the basis for intensive study. In addition to that, the appendixed 2-page bibliography is too short and does not cover every part mentioned in the book itself. It could have helped if Crystal had given reference to corresponding literature right after the chapters. Because of that, I'll only give 4 of 5 stars.

Nevertheless, this is a very interesting book for everyone who wants to know what basically goes on in language without reading extensive works. This is the easiest introduction you can find, written by an expert on the matter.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  19 Rezensionen
38 von 39 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen An Excellent Overview of the HOW 19. Juli 2007
Von J. Birchell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I would strongly disagree with the review that contends that this book does not explore its subject matter in enough depth. I particularly disagree with the reviewer when he keeps asking for further explanation ("it doesn't explain WHY...") The book is not intended to explain why. As the introduction makes clear, it is intended as an explanation of the HOW of linguistics; in other words, it is intended as a diagnostic overview of linguistic science. It is not a scientific investigation. It is not a historical (or etymological) overview of linguistic practices. It is a description of those practices. In this light, it succeeds admirably. I found the book extremely informative as an effective introduction to linguistics. And I did NOT find it a difficult read.
If you have no background study in linguistics, I HIGHLY recommend this book.
29 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen How Language Works is highly recommended. 10. Dezember 2006
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, And Languages Live Or Die by expert linguist David Crystal is a comprehensive guide written for lay readers and linguistic scholars alike to how language develops and evolves, both in individuals and in societies. In addition to chronicling how new languages are created from the mixing of cultures, and surveying the process of how languages die, How Language Works also makes an impassioned plea to protect and sustain as many languages as possible in a modern world beset with the threat of literally thousands of human languages on the verge of extinction. Championing languages as facets of intellectual and cultural diversity as well as miracles of science and nature, How Language Works is highly recommended.
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Total Book on Language 8. Februar 2007
Von Ray Cemic - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This book covers every aspect of language: the physiological, paralingual communication, nuances of language, and almost any other thing that you can think of involving language. It is from England so some of the spellings and phrasings are different, but I found it to be interesting, readable, and full of new information, based on the latest research.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Panoramic overview onto the world of language... 27. März 2010
Von A. Panda - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Maybe it will sound strange, but what I liked most about the book was not its content but its form: what a concise, structured, balanced and nearly perfect syntax! The sentences, paragraphs, sub-sections and chapters are of a perfect size and everything is written in a clear and comprehensible manner. The indentation and the typography for both text and titles were carefully designed and the kind of paper and the binding are of excellent quality, so the book is a pleasure to read and handle.

The book is an excellent introduction to linguistics or to how language works, starting from the anatomy of the vocal apparatus to how we produce sounds, from how we articulate them into a language to how we hear and distinguish language from noise; then it turns to how different parts of our brain process language to how we assign meaning and how languages are structured to better convey this meaning (how grammar serves semantics). It also includes sections on how languages are born, how they evolve and how they die, as well as how the currently existing languages belong to certain language families. Finally it concludes with how we can take care of languages in order to preserve the language diversity (and therefore the cultural heritage) of the world, since languages are extinguishing at an extremely fast pace, maybe even faster than that of the extinction of animal species.

The author covers a lot of topics, but for the same reason he delves not too deep into any of them. Regarding the topics that interested me most, I would have liked greater detail, but this is probably not possible in a book with such a wide scope. This book will probably lead you to some more specific sources in some linguistic area. Regarding the evolution and constant change of languages, as well as some specific examples of how these language shifts occur, I highly recommend The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention. For a deeper explanation of how the brain processes language The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by S. Pinker is a good choice, although I still need to read The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (P.S.), which is probably better. Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition gives you an excellent overview of the evolutionary steps that led from apes to modern humans - vocal apparatus included -together with the changes in the representation modes (and thereby memory) involved in these steps (from episodic to mimetic to narrative or linguistic and finally to symbolic, which allowed for written language).
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful Layout, Good Overview 21. Februar 2009
Von K. F. Barnes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is really beautiful - the fonts used and the layout are very distinctive. A++ on that.

The book itself is a series of short chapters on a wide variety of language topics each of which could stand alone. It is interesting and well written, if a tad dry, but not too deep on any one topic. Think of a series of magazine articles in a magazine devoted to a particular interest, where the level of vocabulary assumes some knowledge of the topic. The chapters are all cross referenced - it would easily move to a web article.

The breath of topics is very wide - from sounds and physiology to computer translation by way of grammar and language families. Overall it is very informative, but a book to take in small doses.
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