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Macmillan Higher Education

What Is This Thing Called Language? (2nd Edition)

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Publisher:

Palgrave

Pages: 272
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AVAILABLE FORMATS

Paperback - 9780230291379

11 December 2012

$39.99

In stock

Ebook - 9781137284990

01 November 2012

$39.99

In stock

Written by eminent linguist David Nunan, this concise text immerses readers in the complex, curious and continually evolving phenomenon that is at the centre of everything we do: language. It can be fascinating, puzzling and...

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Written by eminent linguist David Nunan, this concise text immerses readers in the complex, curious and continually evolving phenomenon that is at the centre of everything we do: language. It can be fascinating, puzzling and entertaining – and sometimes all of these at the same time. Featuring entertaining anecdotes and interesting examples throughout, this book introduces readers to the foundations of language, namely its sounds, words and grammar, before illustrating how language is used in different ways in a variety of contexts. Fully updated and revised for the second edition, it covers a wide range of topics, including language variation and culture, second language acquisition and bilingualism.

Students, teachers and non-specialists alike will enjoy this engaging and ‘un-put-down-able’ introduction to language and linguistics. Assuming no prior knowledge of applied or theoretical linguistics, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in language.  

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  • Introduces the subsystems of language in an accessible way and explores the ways in which these subsystems are used in spoken and written language
  • Breaks down complex ideas with interesting anecdotes and engaging examples
  • Brings language to life with dozens of samples spanning a wide range of contexts
  • Includes reflective questions and annotated suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter
  • Contains an overview of key figures in the field of language study and linguistic analysis and a glossary of key terminology

  • Illustrated with examples taken from a range of different languages
  • New content on language and culture, language variation, second language acquisition, bilingualism and the impact of globalization on language use

List of Tables and Figures
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction to the First Edition: The Stuff that Surrounds Us
Introduction to the Second Edition: A Personal Account
What is this Thing Called Language?
The Sound System
The Lexical System
The Grammatical System
Doing Things with Spoken Language
Doing Things with Written Language
First and Second Language Acquisition
Language at Play
Language, Culture and Identity
Language in a Global Context
Postscript
Books to Read on a Long Plane Flight
Key Figures
Glossary
References
Author Index
Subject Index.

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DAVID NUNAN is Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Anaheim University, USA, and Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong.

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DAVID NUNAN is Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Anaheim University, USA, and Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong.

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