An Introduction to Language and Communication

This popular introductory linguistics text is unique in the way various themes are integrated throughout the book. One primary theme is the question, "How is a speaker’s communicative intent recognized?" Rather than treat phonology, phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics as completely separate fields, the text shows how they interact in principled ways. Similarly, language variation and acquisition are informed by results in these fields. The text provides a sound introduction to linguistic methodology while also revealing why people are intrinsically interested in language—the ultimate puzzle of the human mind.

The fifth edition has been thoroughly revised. Revisions include, but are not limited to, the addition of "selected readings" sections, updated examples, new discussion on the creative nature of neologisms, and the use of IPA as the primary transcription system throughout. This edition also includes an account of the patterns of occurrence of reduced vowels in English. An understanding of these patterns enables the reader to write a phonemic transcription of any English word.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Note to the Teacher
  3. I. The Structure of Human Language
  4. Introduction I
  5. 1. What is Linguistics?
  6. 2. Morphology: The Study of the Structure of Words
  7. 3. Phonetics and Phonemic Transcription
  8. 4. Phonology: The Study of Sound Structure
  9. 5. Syntax: The Study of Sentence Structure
  10. 6. Semantics: The Study of Linguistic Meaning
  11. 7. Language Variation
  12. 8. Language Change
  13. II. Communication and Cognitive Science
  14. Introduction II
  15. 9. Pragmatics: The Study of Language Use and Communication
  16. 10. Psychology of Language: Speech Production and Comprehension
  17. 11. Language Acquisition in Children
  18. 12. Language and the Brain
  19. Appendix The Written Representation of Language
  20. Glossary
  21. Index