Most of the time we communicate using language without considering the complex activity we are undertaking, forming words and sentences in a split second. This book introduces the analysis of language structure, combining both description and theory within a single, practical text. It begins by examining words and parts of words, and then looks at how words work together to form sentences that communicate meaning. Sentence patterns across languages are also studied, looking at the similarities and the differences we find in how languages communicate meaning. The book also discusses how context can affect how we structure our sentences: the context of a particular language and its structures, the context of old and new information for us and our addressee(s), and the context of our culture.
• Uses data from a large and diverse selection of over two hundred signed and spoken languages • Provides key terms at the end of each section and in a glossary at the end of the book to help readers understand the concepts • End of chapter exercises based on English and a variety of other languages provide the opportunity for practice in identifying, describing and explaining the structures introduced
1. Introduction; 2. The structure of words; 3. The structure of sentences; 4. The structure of meaning; 5. Integrating language structure; 6. The structure of phrases; 7. Complex structures; 8. The structure of information; 9. Language structure in context.
'An excellent first-course in language analysis.' John R. Roberts, SIL International