This textbook is a self-contained introduction to linguistics for beginning students. It offers a unified approach to language from several perspectives. A language is a complex structure represented in the minds of its speakers, and this book introduces the tools necessary for understanding this structure. In addition, it focuses on how small children acquire their native language; the psychological processes which are involved in mature speakers producing and understanding language; linguistic difficulties that arise as a consequence of brain damage or genetic disorders; and additional issues that arise when we consider individual speakers as part of a social community.
List of figures; List of tables; List of maps; List of appendices; A note for course organisers and class teachers on the use of this book; Contents; Introduction; Part I. Sounds: 1. Introduction; 2. Sounds and suprasegmentals; 3. Sound variation; 4. Sound change; 5. Phonemes, syllables and phonological processes; 6. Child phonology; 7. Processing sounds; Part II. Words: 8. Introduction; 9. Word classes; 10. Building words; 11. Morphology across languages; 12. Word meaning; 13. Children and words; 14. Lexical processing and the mental lexicon; 15. Lexical disorders; 16. Lexical variation and change; Part III. Sentences: 17. Introduction; 18. Basic terminology; 19. Sentence structure; 20. Empty categories; 21. Movement; 22. Syntactic variation; 23. Logical form; 24. Children's sentences; 25. Sentence processing; 26. Syntactic disorders; Bibliography.
"This introduction, by some of the most distinguished linguists today, should rapidly become the market leader. Instead of offering the usual catalogue of unconnected topics, the authors of this introduction cover each of the major areas of language--sounds, words and sentences--from several viewpoints at once, which gives a unified account of the field with unparalleled clarity and elegance. Each section is complemented by exercises which are at once challenging, illuminating and entertaining." Neil Smith, University College London
"A competent and well-focused introduction. Pays much attention to grammar, sounds, and the lexicon, but is also very informative and up-to-date about acquisition, disorders, and language as a social institution. Recommended for both classroom use and for a general readership." Jan G. Kooij, Leiden University