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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language
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Table of Contents

Part I. Popular Ideas about Language: 1. The prescriptive tradition; 2. The equality of languages; 3. The magic of language; 4. The functions of language; 5. Language and thought; Part II. Language and Identity: 6. Physical identity; 7. Psychological identity; 8. Geographical identity; 9. Ethnic and national identity; 10. Social identity; 11. Contextual identity; 12. Stylistic identity and literature; Part III. The Structure of Language: 13. Linguistic levels; 14. Typology and universals; 15. The statistical structure of language; 16. Grammar; 17. Semantics; 18. Dictionaries; 19. Names; 20. Discourses and text; 21. Pragmatics; Part IV. The Medium of Language: Speaking and Listening: 22. The anatomy and physiology of speech; 23. The acoustics of speech; 24. The instrumental; 25. Speech reception; 26. Speech interaction with machines; 27. The sounds of speech; 28. The linguistic use of sound; 29. Suprasegmentals; 30. Sound symbolism; Part V. The Medium of Language: Writing and Reading: 31. Written and spoken language; 32. Graphic expression; 33. Graphology; 34. The process of reading and writing; Part VI. The Medium of Language: Signing and Seeing: 35. Sign language; 36. Sign language structure; 37. Types of sign language; Part VII. Child Language Acquisition: 38. Investigating children's language; 39. The first year; 40. Phonological development; 41. Grammatical development; 42. Semantic development; 43. Pragmatic development; 44. Language development in school; Part VIII. Language, Brain and Handicap: 45. Language and the brain; 46. Language handicap; Part IX. The Languages of the World: 47. How many languages?; 48. How many speakers?; 49. The origins of language; 50. Families of languages; 51. The Indo-European family; 52. Other families; 53. Language isolates; 54. Language change; 55. Pidgins and creoles; Part X. Language in the World: 56. The language barrier; 57. Translating and interpreting; 58. Artificial languages; 59. World languages; 60. Multilingualism; 61. Language planning; 62. Foreign language learning and teaching; 63. Language for special purposes; Part XI. Language and Communication: 64. Language and other communication systems; 65. Linguistics; Appendices.

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A complete revised update, in full colour, of the most successful general study of language ever published.

Reviews

This is a collection of concise and readable essays on the many subfields of linguistics, ranging from the invention of the alphabet to the Kurzweil Reading Machine and covering both theoretical and applied approaches to the subject. Numerous illustrations and charts make the text more vivid, and a glossary, a table of the world's languages, and several indexes make it eminently usable. Respected British linguist Crystal has done an admirable job of condensing information from many specialized fields into a form that will be intelligible to lay readers as well as linguists. Useful for public as well as academic libraries. Catherine V. von Schon, SUNY at Stony Brook Lib.

'... a celebration of language in all its oddity, beauty, fun, astonishing complexity and limitless variety.' London Review of Books
'The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language is a masterpeice of comprehensiveness and clarity.' New Internationalist
'... an ingenious tour de force ... stunningly diverse linguistic menu.' Robert Burchfield, The Times
'... magnificently demonstrates Professor Crystal's outstanding breadth of knowledge, incisiveness of judgment and superb skills at getting to the heart of highly complex issues in a clear and straightforward manner.' Randolph Quirk, FBA
'... David Crystal has a great facility for explaining language issues with plain good sense, wit and admirable brevity.' The Times Educational Supplement
"...a treasure trove to language lovers." Robert MacNeil
"Investigates every conceivable corner of the world of language." The Christian Science Monitor
"...remarkably accessible...the writing is plain and non-technical..." Toronto Globe and Mail
"The quantity and quality of included information is amazing. Composed by an individual, this is a truly unique and monumental reference work." American Reference Books Annual
"The book is overwhelming yet inviting; the information ranges from the most basic to the very technical. Even the casual browser couldn't help but be fascinated by the sheer scope of the book and intrigued with the diversity of its subject matter." Elaine R. Goldberg, Kliatt
"The most diverse, enjoyable, and thought-provoking encyclopedia on language....ideal for anyone interested in words, speech, writing, and thought, and certain to be a continual point of reference for any writer for years to come. Very highly recommended." Amazon.Com Books

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