by Vyvyan Evans
Language is central to our lives, the cultural tool that arguably sets us apart from other species. Some scientists have argued that language is innate, a type of unique human 'instinct' pre-programmed in us from birth. In this book, Vyvyan Evans argues that this received wisdom is, in fact, a myth. Debunking the notion of a language 'instinct', Evans demonstrates that language is related to other animal forms of communication; that languages exhibit staggering diversity; that we learn our mother tongue drawing on general properties and abilities of the human mind, rather than an inborn 'universal' grammar; that language is not autonomous but is closely related to other aspects of our mental lives; and that, ultimately, language and the mind reflect and draw upon the way we interact with others in the world.
by Jean Aitchinson
- an accessible introduction to psycholinguistics which explores such questions as why language is restricted to humans, whether there is biological evidence for innate language activity, how children learn language, and how we understand, plan and produce language.
by Peter Trudgill
- a good introduction to sociolinguisitics for non-specialists.
by Suzanne Romaine
- a clear, lively, and accessible introduction to the field of sociolinguistics, emphasizing the constant interaction between society and language.
by Marina Yaguello
- an entertaining but rigorous introduction to language and linguistics for non-specialists and students alike. The author shows that we can come to an understanding of language in general and of particular languages through exploring the devices of humour, word-games, and poetry.
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