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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language Paperback – Feb 13 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (Feb. 13 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521559677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521559676
  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 21.9 x 27.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #809,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Paperback
Indeed ,David Crystal is a great and famous linguist of this century .His books about language are very important for students and common readers .His book "What is linguistics "is a good book for students ,but this book is important and informative for all people with scholars .There are several useful mapes and tables which guide a reader to understand the different family of languages.
I am siraiki speaking person .It was natural for me to read about my language,but Crystal is not aware about Siraiki language .He wrote its very old name Lahnda .I hope he will correct it in next edition
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By R. Boshell on Dec 16 2003
Format: Paperback
This book contains everything a linguist would ever want. David Crystal has brought together everything he knows about child language aquisition, journalese and a plethora of other topics which are too vast to mention. Definately worth every penny. There is hours of reading and learning to be done with this book, and each page brings new and interesting facts, even though the original book is over a decade old! the perfect gift for a loved linguist, a fact-finder of a friend and even has a use in the hands of the illiterate!
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Format: Paperback
_The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language_, Second Edition, by David Crystal is a linguaphile's delight. It provides a wealth of information to engage the mind indefinitely.
Instead of being organized alphabetically, as most encyclopedias are, _The Encyclopedia of Language_ is divided into eleven parts that comprise sixty-five thematic sections. Each section includes a comprehensive discussion of the theme, enhanced by sidebars and colorful visuals. Sections range in length from two to twenty pages, making the chunks of information small enough to be palatable yet large enough to be satisfying.
Topics addressed include language and thought, the structure of language, the anatomy and physiology of speech, written language, language acquisition, languages of the world, language disabilities, and language change. Obviously, this is only a sample. In addition, the book has eight appendices, including an extensive glossary and a table giving information about nearly 1,000 of the world's languages.

While many of Crystal's topics have their technical aspects, the author keeps his tone conversational and his information accessible to the lay reader. In this way he celebrates the existence of human language and deepens our appreciation of it.
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Format: Paperback
According to the author, this book operates on two levels. First it addresses the kind of interest in language history and behaviour that we encounter daily (for instance: a young child's attempts to talk), and secondly, it attempts to make sense out of what we observe. To address these concerns, the book consists of 11 main categories having topics such as "Popular Ideas About Language," "The Medium of Language: Writing and Reading," and ""The Languages Of The World."
These 11 categories are further broken down into 65 subsections on such subjects as "Language and Thought," "Investigating Children's Language," and "Language And The Brain."
One of the beauties of this book is that it practices what it preaches. In the section on Plain English, it emphasizes simplicity as the key to readability and it is written in just such a simple, readable manner. In this regard, Crystal quotes the recommendations of the "Plain English Advocates" as follows:
"Prefer the shorter word to the longer one. Use simple . . . . rather than fancy ones."
"Write short sentences with an average of no more than 20 words."
"Write short paragraphs with an average of about 75 words."
And very importantly, I think, "Write with your ear. . . . . Do not write anything you could not comfortably say."
There is much more like this. Along these same lines he quotes George Orwell's six rules of what to do when instinct fails. A couple of these rules also merit mention.
"Never use a long word when a short word will do." and "If it is possible to cut a word out, cut it out." And, again, more along these lines.
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Format: Paperback
I have always found linguistics to be a fascinating subject, but my encounters with the majority of textbooks on this subject have made for rather dry reading. Bearing this is mind, I initially approached this book with low expectations. However, once I opened the cover I could not put it down again. David Crystal has a quite a talent for presenting various topics surrounding language in a way that is both extremely interesting and easy to understand. The eleven chapters address in general terms language structure, geographic and social factors relating to language, physiological and neurological aspects of speech and language acquisition, languages of the world, written language, and a great deal of more information covering a variety of language-related topics, to include sign language, body language, and animal communication. No one is going to become an expert on linguistics by merely reading this book, but it is a superb general reference and introduction to language and linguistics.
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