How Language Works: How Babies Babble Words Change Meaning And Languages Live Or Die

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9780141015521: How Language Works: How Babies Babble Words Change Meaning And Languages Live Or Die
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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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A parrot uncomprehendingly rattles off a string of words learned by rote. And we marvel! Yet we seem to take our own astonishing linguistic powers for granted—the ability to speak, listen, and understand, to read and write. We all understand why language works—we have to communicate to survive—and now David Crystal, the world authority on language, shows us how.How are languages born? How does conversation work? How do we learn how to read? How do gestures and tone of voice impact communication? And what happens when a language goes wrong? How Language Works answers questions about the innumerable facets of language, from how we absorb all those grammatical rules to how we decide if a word is rude or polite. Whether looking at the whistle languages of the Canary Islands, or describing the layout of the human throat; whether assessing the importance of eyebrow flashes in conversation, or showing how the way we speak betrays who we want to be—How Language Works is a book that will enrich the lives of everyone who reads it. Illuminating and intriguing, this landmark book is the ultimate guide to the mysteries of the language we all use every day.

About the Author:

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has published over ninety books, most recently The Stories of English, and is the editor of The Penguin Encyclopaedia. In 1995, he was awarded the OBE for services to the English language. He lives in Holyhead, Anglesey.

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9781583332917: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die

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ISBN 10:  158333291X ISBN 13:  9781583332917
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9781585678488: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Liveor Die

The Ov..., 2006
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9780739482896: How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live

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9780140515381: How Language Works: Why babies babble, spelling is illogical and words

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9780140515824: How Language Works

Penguin, 2006
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