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An Introduction to Language

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  915 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
A comprehensive introduction to the study of language and linguistics, An Introduction to Language, Sixth Edition, covers all the major topics in linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics as well as pragmatics, historical change, social and regional dialects, child language, writing, language processing, and the neurobiology of language.
Unknown Binding, 386 pages
Published January 1st 1978 by Holt McDougal (first published 1974)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 25, 2007 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: language buffs
Shelves: non-fiction, langauge
Oh my holy interesting!!! Everything you ever wanted to know about language, and much, much more! Keep in mind that this is a text book, so it's going to be dry. But for a text book, it wasn't so bad. If this is an area of interest to you, why not try looking up Steven Pinker's book "The Language Instinct" which paralled "An Introduction to Language" almost perfectly, yet was much more enjoyable. Another book to check out is "The Unfolding of Language" by Guy Deutscher. By far the most interesti ...more
Arezu Wishka
واقعا کتاب سختی برای امتحان دادن بود. فعلا هشت فصلش رو خوندیم و گذاشتیم کنار تا بعد. متن روونی داره اما سخت کردنش واقعا واقعا واقعا سخته!
I had to buy this book for a linguistics course that I had to take way back when I started studying English at the University. The linguistics course was extremely dull and one of the many reasons I decided to switch to another branch of study. I never even started reading An Introduction to Language and it was stuck in a pile of educational books that I wanted to give to charity. Since I am always having a hard time getting rid of books, I flicked through it one last time and thought „Hmm, actu ...more
Jul 21, 2007 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Word freaks
Shelves: college, nonfiction
I read this book for the class The English Language, which was maybe the most generally interesting class I have ever taken. This book is absolutely fascinating and very easy to read, especially considering that at times it's dealing with complicated ideas. It covers everything from the basics of what makes up words and sounds to how children develop language to dialects and hispanic and black english. It really will change the way you think about words and speaking.
حياة الياقوت
One of my favourite college textbooks.
I lost my copy and had to buy another one, can't stand the fact that it does not exist in bookcase.
Ehsan Gazooki
Dec 20, 2007 Ehsan Gazooki added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English Teachers
Oct 17, 2007 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually find introductory texts to be either lacking in content or boring and this one was neither. This book was a pleasure to read.
Shadi Saleh
This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in languages in general and linguistics in special.
I used this textbook in my intro to linguistics class as an undergrad and reread it in preparation for grad school. I remembered this text as being better than it really is. I certainly would not have developed a love for linguistics if I had not had a passionate teacher to supplement the text. It is a decent overview of the subject and I did appreciate the comic strips included throughout, but the text was often unnecessarily repetitive and dry.

For example, in the chapter on language acquisiti
Jan 10, 2017 SofiaSevero rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-college
What a dreadful little thing linguistics are. There were some interesting bits but way too repetitive in my I had to push myself through it most of the time. I had to read this book for class, but now that I am done with it I can finally say goodbye to this. thank heavens. May the Linguistics God be with you and help you pass.
Aug 11, 2015 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personally, I didn't really enjoy reading this. However, it's *very* well structured, intelligible, and a little quirky; making the learning experience all the less boring. Overall, if you're interested in studying the foundations of linguistics in an academic or recreational setting, I'd definitely recommend picking this book up.

Autumn Meier
It's the English Major nerd it me, but linguistics is wonderfully fascinating!
Jan 01, 2017 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely an interesting read, but my brain hurts!! Everything one would want to know about language (and a lot I don't) is found in this well organized textbook.
A must-have linguistics manual for anyone working with teaching or research!
Jan 27, 2017 Tjahja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language, linguistics
I will recommend this book to anyone interested in language topics but without or with limited linguistic background. This book was on the recommendation list during my early year in university, partly because the language is easy to follow -since it is an introduction- and also the scope is comprehensive -not only covering grammar (morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, and phonology), but also psycolinguistics, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, historical linguistics, ...more
This textbook was fascinating. The chapters about how our brains process language information and why we speak a certain way were completely intriguing. I didn't realize how in-depth language acquisition was. It was interesting to see the ways people's brains develop and how cultures might process grammar in a different way. I also loved seeing the differences in how people pronounce words and how grammar is varied based on where you life. I found most of the information in this textbook relevan ...more
Nov 11, 2010 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serves its purpose as an introduction to linguistics by covering a vast amount of necessary subjects, such as morphology & syntaxis. Every new bit was accompanied by a relevant quote, which maybe wasn't necessary but made it fun, and the same goes for the comics which were added here and there. A book that's very up-to-date (includes references to Harry Potter & Twitter and names Obama as president, for example) and therefore still very relevant.

Something that I liked a bit less however
Mikael Lind
A pretty decent introduction to linguistics which deals with most general topics in the field. However, I don't like how they consider Chomsky's theories on language in an almost dogmatic way. It sounds as if they were simple truths, known to everybody, but they really are not. There's a widespread discussion on the topic, and opposing views (which this book doesn't cover at all) can be found within followers of Wittgenstein (on a philosophical level) and cultural linguists (like Daniel Everett ...more
Last year I had to get this book for my Phonetics class. Luckily I hold on to it, because this book is also the textbook for Introduction to Linguistics, which I'm taking this trimester.

First Round
Term: February-May 2012
Class: Phonetics
Professor: Millie Commander
Date: Feb 27, 2012 to May 10, 2012

Second Round
Term: February-May 2013
Class: Introduction to Linguistics
Professor: Millie Commander
Date: March 8, 2013 to Present
Antariksa Akhmadi
Oct 21, 2014 Antariksa Akhmadi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A concise and accessible guide to understanding linguistics. While the book put an emphasis on English (such as in morpho-syntax and phonetics-phonology), it made examples of many languages. The presentation is sometimes inconsistent, though. I think it is mainly because the authors want to retain the clarity as the book progresses on each chapter. Also bonus for the occasionally funny comic strips and authorial jokes.
Definitely a good book for people who have no or little linguistic background and would like to know more about language (and for this group of readers four stars would be more appropriate). However, if you have some idea about linguistics and related topics most of the issues are too obvious and some subjects are treated too superficially (e.g. the notion of women's language). It is useful as reference book when you need to revise the basics quickly.
Feb 11, 2015 Abutalal is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: class, did-not-finish
The "did not finish" is not a marker of how good or bad the book was; it's just that it's a textbook, and I don't feel like reading hundreds of extra pages about phonemes and whatnot.

Very interesting; I think this book is actually a pretty good one for linguistics. One note: Fromkin, don't call the Harry Potter movies old!! YEESH!
Sina Shafiyan
Aug 14, 2016 Sina Shafiyan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read any academic book about linguistics as thorough and comprehensive as this book. Every chapter is consisted of today's issues in conjunction with old school oriented ideas and perceptions.
I'm obliged to say that linguistic and non-linguistic jokes were splendid and made the book more radiant and intriguing.
Mei Hua
Jan 07, 2016 Mei Hua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly I did not feel tired reading this book. All chapters are interesting and it has been a great source for anyone learning to understand the history of Indo-European languages as well as English, German and Dutch learner like me!
Heather Moore
Oct 01, 2007 Heather Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbook
This textbook was OK. I enjoyed the quotes that were put in throughout it, it helped to maintain curiosity and adds a new level of understanding. The actual text wasn't too bad, it was very basic, but this was an entry level course.
Tricia M Foster
Feb 14, 2015 Tricia M Foster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Changed my perspective of language. After reading this book, I recognized language was a tool. There is no right or wrong. Language is a method of delivery a message whose only measure is whether it works or not.
Mar 16, 2008 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good introduction to the field of linguistics
Laura Neu
Jul 13, 2014 Laura Neu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes this text isn't as clear or organized as it should be, but content-wise it's a solid introductory tool to linguistics.
for learning what linguistic is
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