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Our books on linguistics and linguistics books will help you master the English language and learn all the essential rules.

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Linguistics Books

Our books on linguistics and linguistics books will help you master the English language and learn all the essential rules.

  • Word Nerd

    Michael Powell

    Product Code: CAXCF
    Hardback
    The English language is full of beauty and surprises. If you're a lover of the weird and wonderful, from fascinating etymology to the ten most overused and useless English phrases, this book isn't averse to a peppering of persiflage! Did you know: - pilots and air traffic controllers at major air international airports have to speak English - the hashtag symbol is an "octothorpe" - "bumfiddle" means to spoil a piece of paper or document - the word "noon" originally meant 3pm; the literal meaning of "bamboozle" is to make a baboon out of someone. This book contains a boatload of things you didn't know about the English language and it's a guaranteed prolix-free zone.
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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  • The Art of Rhetoric

    Aristotle

    Product Code: BEICX
    Paperback
    HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics...Despite dating from the 4th century BC, The Art of Rhetoric continues to be regarded by many as the single most important work on the art of persuasion. As democracy began emerging in 5th-century Athens, public speaking and debate became an increasingly important tool to garner influence in the assemblies, councils, and law courts of ancient Greece. In response to this, both politicians and ordinary citizens became desperate to learn greater skills in this area, as well as the philosophy behind it. This treatise was one of the first to provide just that, establishing methods and observations of informal reasoning and style, and has continued to be hugely influential on public speaking and philosophy today. Aristotle, the grandfather of philosophy, student of Plato, and teacher of Alexander the Great, was one of the first people to create a comprehensive system of philosophy, encompassing logic, morality, aesthetics, politics, ethics, and science. Although written over 2,000 years ago, The Art of Rhetoric remains a comprehensive introduction for philosophy students into the subject of rhetoric, as well as a useful manual for anyone today looking to improve their oratory skills of persuasion.
    • £2.49
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  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

    TF Hoad

    Product Code: AHIWD
    Paperback
    Where did the words bungalow and assassin derive? What did nice mean in the Middle Ages? How were adder, anger, and umpire originally spelt? The answers can be found in this essential companion to any popular dictionary. With over 17,000 entries, this is the most authoritative and comprehensive guide to word origins available in paperback. Based on The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, the principal authority on the origin and development of English words, it contains a wealth of information about our language and its history.
    • £9.89
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  • Talk on the Wild Side

    Lane Greene

    Product Code: BYYBP
    Paperback
    Language is a wild animal: rough, ambiguous, inconsistent in countless ways. But that just makes it all the more tempting to tame it. Many have tried, from sticklers for supposedly correct grammar to inventors of supposedly perfect languages; from software engineers working on machine translation to governments that see language management as politics by another means. But when you enter the lair of a wild beast, you can be lucky to escape with your wits. Join Lane Greene on a journey of discovery into the deep strangeness of language. Learn why grammar rules can never capture the extraordinary variety of ordinary usage. See what happens when you try to design a language that really makes sense. Find out why, for all the talk of decline in English, no language in recorded history has ever gone to the dogs, or ever could. And learn the fate of those bold individuals who, through heroism or ignorance, ventured to teach their tongue some new tricks.
    • £7.19
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  • Modern Toss: Tossary of Terms

    Jon Link

    Product Code: BQXLH
    Hardback
    Tossary of Terms by Modern Toss is the first in an illustrated dictionary series. Produced by cartoonists Jon Link & Mick Bunnage, this book features new words such as: Scumcestor, Prioritit, Newmonia, Cock-bonnet, Screen-margarine and Attenborough's Trench, all illustrated with intense black and white linework. The fast changing modern scene chucks up stuff faster than we can nail it down and label it. The ear grease on a smart phone screen, wearing a hat that makes you look like even more of a tit, the DNA rich stew in the bogs hand dryer trough, paying extra money to sit in a plane before the rest of the passengers. This invaluable tool for navigating the 21st century shitscape is printed on paper, rendering it impervious to cyber attack.
    • £9.59
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  • Social Interaction in Language Teacher Education

    Fiona Farr

    Product Code: CBJSZ
    Paperback
    Combining corpus linguistics and discourse analysis, this book draws on a range of spoken and written data collected from a variety of contexts. It explores interaction in pre- and in-service education programs and analyses the spoken and written interactions of teachers with varying levels of experience who are adopting a range of modes of interaction. Both face-to-face and online modes of computer-mediated communication are explored. In doing so the book provides examples of how data can be approached and used to uncover social-interactional themes and issues, in relation to language teacher education and as a micro-context of social interaction in general. With coverage of both theory and practice, this book is a key resource for educators and postgraduate students in areas such as second language teacher education, TESOL, cross-cultural communication, sociology, philology, as well as discourse analysts.
    • £29.99
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  • Impossible Loves

    Dario Jaramillo

    Product Code: CBITJ
    Paperback
    A dual language (Spanish/English) collection, introducing the major contemporary Colombian poet to English-language readers.
    • £10.39
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  • Medieval Philosophy

    Peter Adamson (Ludwig-Maximili

    Product Code: CAXSI
    Hardback
    Peter Adamson presents a lively introduction to six hundred years of European philosophy, from the beginning of the ninth century to the end of the fourteenth century. The medieval period is one of the richest in the history of philosophy, yet one of the least widely known. Adamson introduces us to some of the greatest thinkers of the Western intellectual tradition, including Peter Abelard, Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Roger Bacon. And the medieval period was notable for the emergence of great women thinkers, including Hildegard of Bingen, Marguerite Porete, and Julian of Norwich. Original ideas and arguments were developed in every branch of philosophy during this period - not just philosophy of religion and theology, but metaphysics, philosophy of logic and language, moral and political theory, psychology, and the foundations of mathematics and natural science.
    • £20.00
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  • Wordslut

    Amanda Montell

    Product Code: CAXEQ
    Hardback
    A brash, enlightening, and wildly entertaining feminist look at gendered language and the way it shapes us, written with humor and playfulness that challenges words and phrases and how we use them. "I get so jazzed about the future of feminism knowing that Amanda Montell's brilliance is rising up and about to explode worldwide."-Jill Soloway The word bitch conjures many images for many people, but it is most often meant to describe an unpleasant woman. Even before its usage to mean a female canine, bitch didn't refer to gender at all-it originated as a gender-neutral word meaning genitalia. A perfectly innocuous word devolving into a female insult is the case for tons more terms, including hussy-which simply meant housewife-or slut, which meant an untidy person and was also used to describe men. These words are just a few among history's many English slurs hurled at women. Amanda Montell, reporter and feminist linguist, deconstructs language-from insults and cursing, gossip, and catcalling to grammar and pronunciation patterns-to reveal the ways it has been used for centuries to keep women and other marginalized genders from power. Ever wonder why so many people are annoyed when women talk with vocal fry or use the word like as a filler? Or why certain gender-neutral terms stick and others don't? Or where stereotypes of how women and men speak come from in the first place? Montell effortlessly moves between history, science, and popular culture to explore these questions and more-and how we can use the answers to effect real social change. Montell's irresistible humor shines through, making linguistics not only approachable but both downright hilarious and profound, demonstrated in chapters such as: Slutty Skanks and Nasty Dykes: A Comprehensive List of Gendered Insults How to Embarrass the Shit Out of People Who Try to Correct Your Grammar Fuck it: An Ode to Cursing While Female Cyclops, Panty Puppet, Bald Headed Bastard and 100+ Other Things to Call Your Genitalia Montell effortlessly moves between history and popular culture to explore these questions and more. Wordslut gets to the heart of our language, marvels at its elasticity, and sheds much-needed light into the biases that shadow women in our culture and our consciousness.
    • £16.00
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  • Grammar Geek

    Michael Powell

    Product Code: CAXCE
    Hardback
    English is full of beauty and surprises, yet despite being the lingua franca of the globalization world, it has a reputation for being difficult to learn because its grammar has also so many quirks and contradictions. Did you know: - "Terry loves yogurt" is an example of illeism - preposition stranding is a bogus rule - sometimes it's acceptable to begin a sentence with "but" or "and" - "Could you pass the salt?" is "whimperative" - it's OK to boldy split infinitives. Many of us don't even know the basics, so not only does Grammar Geek reveal obscure grammar rules and bogus ones you can safely ignore, it's also a handy primer, so in the future you'll have no excuse for dangling a modifier or misplacing a semicolon.
    • £7.19
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  • Analyzing the Media

    Hartmut Stockl

    Product Code: BZUMS
    Paperback
    Analyzing the Media provides twelve original studies from established scholars in the field of SFL and/or multimodality as well as from young scholars who have already delivered remarkable contributions to the discipline. The volume starts with an introduction to media studies from an SFL perspective. The first part of the volume then explores different functional approaches to analyzing journalistic genres (e.g., reports, editorials, letters to the editor, popular science features) with a clear emphasis on the examination of linguistic/semiotic textures, which are studied in terms of a range of aspects such as generic structure, culture, cognition or language contrast. The second half of the volume looks at processes of convergence and change within the medial landscape, e.g., at the transfer of a genre from one medium to another and at the concomitant linguistic/semiotic changes. It explores how long-established media genres, such as advertising and branding, have changed over the years and adapted to shifting media logics, how the new social media have led to new emerging linguistic practices as in internet forums, how generic conventions and linguistic styles are adopted and imported in related or neighbouring genres and media such as comic, TV-series and film, how specific multimodal textures, such as smell, can be co-deployed with other meaning making resources (verbal, visual, spatial) to create specific effects for particular situations, e.g., in open-house viewing events, and how Cultural Historical Activity Theory, an action oriented theory that does not integrate a model of social semiosis, can be fruitfully combined with SFL theory to explore hitherto unbeaten paths in human-computer interaction.
    • £18.36
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  • Women at Work

    David Gold

    Product Code: BZRNN
    Hardback
    Studies of women's rhetorics to date have focused largely on the civic arena and the home. These two spheres are clearly important, but they ignore another vital arena: the workplace. Women at Work presents fifteen chapters that center on gender, rhetoric, and work in the US during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Feminist scholars explore, for example, women's "labor evangelism" in the textile industry, the rhetorical constructions of leadership within women's trade unions, the rhetorical "branding" of a twentieth-century female athlete, the labor activism of an African American blues singer, and the romantic, same-sex collaborations that supported pedagogical labor. Women at Work also introduces readers to rhetorical methods and approaches possible for the study of gender and work. Contributors name and explore a specific rhetorical concern that animates their study and in so doing, readers learn about such concepts as professional proof, rhetorical failure, epideictic embodiment, rhetorics of care, and cross-racial coalition building.
    • £45.50
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  • Language Unlimited

    David Adger (Professor of Ling

    Product Code: BZMGK
    Hardback
    All humans, but no other species, have the capacity to create and understand language. It provides structure to our thoughts, allowing us to plan, communicate, and create new ideas, without limit. Yet we have only finite experiences, and our languages have finite stores of words. Where does our linguistic creativity come from? How does the endless scope of language emerge from our limited selves? Drawing on research from neuroscience, psychology, and linguistics, David Adger takes the reader on a journey to the hidden structure behind all we say (or sign) and understand. Along the way you'll meet children who created language out of almost nothing, and find out how new languages emerge using structures found in languages spoken continents away. David Adger will show you how the more than 7000 languages in the world appear to obey the same deep scientific laws, how to invent a language that breaks these, and how our brains go crazy when we try to learn languages that just aren't possible. You'll discover why rats are better than we are at picking up certain language patterns, why apes are far worse at others, and how artificial intelligences, such as those behind Alexa and Siri, understand language in a very un-human way. Language Unlimited explores the many mysteries about our capacity for language and reveals the source of its endless creativity.
    • £16.00
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  • Construction Grammar and its Application to English

    Martin Hilpert

    Product Code: BZILJ
    Paperback
    What do speakers of English know in order to produce utterances that other speakers will understand? Construction Grammar explains how knowledge of language is organized in speakers' minds. The central and radical claim of Construction Grammar is that linguistic knowledge can be fully described as knowledge of constructions, which are defined as symbolic units that connect a linguistic form with meaning. The implications of this claim are far-reaching: in Construction Grammar, not only lexical items, but also syntactic patterns are seen as symbolic, meaningful units. Instead of being meaningless structural templates, syntactic patterns actively contribute to the overall meaning of an utterance. Knowledge of language is thought of as a vast repository of interrelated symbolic units, and nothing else in addition. This book expands on this idea and familiarizes readers with the central concepts of Construction Grammar, as applied to English constructions. In the process, it explains how the theory of Construction Grammar relates to issues of language processing, language acquisition, and language variation and change.
    • £24.99
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  • Language and Meaning in the Age of Modernism

    James McElvenny

    Product Code: BZIKM
    Paperback
    This book explores the influential currents in the philosophy of language and linguistics of the first half of the twentieth century, from the perspective of the English scholar C. K. Ogden (1889-1957). Ogden was connected to several of the most significant figures of the modernist period, including Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Victoria Lady Welby, Otto Neurath and Rudolf Carnap. In investigating these connections, this book reveals links between early analytic philosophy, semiotics and linguistics in a crucial period of their respective histories and in turn sheds light on the intellectual history of the early twentieth century. Readers are introduced to the important interaction between Ogden's thought and Victoria Lady Welby's 'significs', Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein's 'logical atomism' in its various forms, and the philosophy and political activism of Otto Neurath and Rudolf Carnap of the Vienna Circle. McElvenny also examines the background to the ideas espoused in Ogden's book The Meaning of Meaning, co-authored with I. A. Richards, along with the application of these ideas in Ogden's international language project Basic English. Provides a detailed study of the historical origin of key concepts in semantics and semiotics Reveals links between early analytic philosophy, semiotics and linguistics in a crucial period of their respective histories Makes extensive use of previously unexplored sources, including Ogden's articles in the journal Psyche and unpublished correspondence Includes a detailed examination of The Meaning of Meaning, 1923 and Basic English, 1930
    • £19.99
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  • The Sociopragmatics of Attitude Datives in Levantine Arabic

    Youssef A. Haddad

    Product Code: BZIIP
    Paperback
    Analysing data from a variety of sources, including soap operas, movies, plays, talk shows and other audiovisual material, this book examines attitude datives - pragmatic markers that deal with interpersonal attitudes and relations - in Levantine Arabic. It examines four types of attitude dative in context to deepen our understanding of the interaction between social dimensions and pragmatic markers. Using data from Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Palestinian dialects it provides a valuable non-European perspective on language use.
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  • Smashing Grammar

    Craig Shrives

    Product Code: BZHYV
    Hardback
    Have you ever sent an email and then realised you've used the wrong kind of your? Do you hope for the best when writing loose or lose? Are semicolons a mystery to you? Armed with Smashing Grammar, you will be able to boost your confidence, sharpen your writing skills and refine your vocabulary without breaking a sweat. Easy to navigate and packed with real-life examples, this helpful and friendly guide includes a comprehensive checklist of common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid, from knowing when to use a possessive apostrophe correctly to mastering there and their. Smashing Grammar also features an A-Z guide of grammar essentials to help bring your writing up to scratch. Each entry includes a variety of examples to illustrate the grammar rules, as well as reasons why you should care and key points to summarise. With Craig's clear-cut advice, you will struggle to find yourself getting caught out by grammar again.
    • £8.79
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  • Language, Politics and Society in the Middle East

    Yonatan Mendel

    Product Code: BZGCH
    Paperback
    Published in honour of Professor Yasir Suleiman, this collection acknowledges his contribution to the field of language and society in general, and to that of language analysis of socio-political realities in the Middle East in particular. Presenting a range of case studies relating to the role of language in the Middle East, each shows that the study of language unearths deeper processes relating to political affiliations, social behaviour and transnational as well as religious and sectarian identities. It also explores questions related to the power of language as a socio-political instrument, and addresses current issues that facilitate an understanding of the evolving intersections in the areas of language and politics in the modern Middle East. This includes how language forms and is shaped by its social and political surroundings, the language manifestations of social, religious and political identifications, as well as groupings, divisions and polarisations in the encounter between language, conflict and politics in contemporary Middle Eastern communities. Looking at language as a proxy for social and political struggles, the volume gives prominence to the long-lasting legacy and great contribution of Professor Yasir Suleiman to the field.
    • £19.99
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  • Animal Languages

    Eva Meijer

    Product Code: BZBVG
    Hardback
    Dolphins and parrots call each other by their names. Fork tailed drongos mimic the calls of other animals to scare them away and then steal their dinner. In the songs of many species of birds, and in skin patterns of squid, we find grammatical structures . . . If you are lucky, you might meet an animal that wants to talk to you. If you are even luckier, you might meet an animal that takes the time and effort to get to know you. Such relationships can teach us not only about the animal in question, but also about language and about ourselves. From how prairie dogs describe intruders in detail -- including their size, shape, speed and the colour of their hair and T-shirts -- to how bats like to gossip, to the impressive greeting rituals of monogamous seabirds, Animal Languages is a fascinating and philosophical exploration of the ways animals communicate with each other, and with us. Researchers are discovering that animals have rich and complex languages with grammatical and structural rules that allow them to strategise, share advice, give warnings, show love and gossip amongst themselves. Animal Languages will reveal this surprising hidden social life and show you how to talk with the animals.
    • £11.99
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  • Don't Believe A Word

    David Shariatmadari

    Product Code: BZBVE
    Hardback
    Everyone likes to think they know a bit about language:There's a term in Portuguese you simply can't translate The origin of a word tells you how it should be used Standards of grammar have taken a nosedive recently The real meaning of 'disinterested' is 'unbiased' Computers will soon be able to speak like human beings A dialect is inferior to a language The problem is, none of these statements is true. Over the past few decades, we have reached new frontiers of linguistic knowledge. Linguists can now explain how and why language changes, describe its structures, and map its activity in the brain. But most of us know as much about language today as we did about physics before Galileo, and the little we know is still largely based on folklore, instinct or hearsay. In DON'T BELIEVE A WORD linguist David Shariatmadari takes us on a mind-boggling journey through the science of language, urging us to abandon our prejudices in a bid to uncover the (far more interesting) truth about what we do with words. Exploding nine widely-held myths about language while introducing us to some of the fundamental insights of modern linguistics, David Shariatmadari is an energetic guide to the beauty and quirkiness of humanity's greatest achievement.
    • £13.59
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  • You're the Only One I Can Tell

    Deborah Tannen

    Product Code: BYZAM
    Paperback
    A Washington Post Notable Book of 2017. Deborah Tannen's bestselling You Just Don't Understand: Conversations Between Women and Men made us aware of the deep and subtle meanings behind the words we say. She has since explored the way we talk at work, in arguments, to our mothers and our daughters. Now she turns to that most intense, precious and potential minefield: women's friendships. Best friend, old friend, good friend, new friend, neighbour, fellow mother at the school gate, workplace confidante: women's friendships are crucial. A friend can be like a sister, daughter, mother, mentor, therapist or confessor. She can also be the source of pain and betrayal. From casual chatting to intimate confiding, from talking about problems to sharing funny stories, there are patterns of communication and miscommunication that affect friendships. Tannen shows how even the best of friends - with the best intentions - can say the wrong thing, how the ways women friends talk can bring friends closer or pull them apart, but also how words can repair the damage done by words. She explains the power of women friends who show empathy and can just listen; how women use talk to connect - and to subtly compete; how fears of rejection can haunt friendships; how social media is reshaping relationships. Exploring what it means to be friends, helping us hear what we are really saying, understanding how we connect to other people; this illuminating and validating book gets inside the language of one of most women's life essentials - female friendships.
    • £7.99
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  • Contemporary Japanese Textbook Volume 2

    Eriko Sato

    Product Code: BYXXF
    Paperback
    This Japanese language book contains 45 short lessons grouped into 12 chapters each of which presents a wide variety of activities and exercises and yet is designed to be covered in a single session. This daily multivitamin approach to learning Japanese makes it easy to track your progress and to review later! An audio CD comes free with the book, providing native speaker recordings giving correct pronunciations for the dialogs and vocabulary in each lesson. Contemporary Japanese is a textbook series for beginning students of Japanese at the college or high school level. It is intended for classroom use as well as self study. Each lesson is concise and has a single, clearly-defined objective. All lessons make use of the active discovery approach which encourages rapid learning through guess and try problem-solving and participation as opposed to rote memorization. This highly effective method uses real-life conversations that make learning fun by involving you in a conversation with your peers. It also removes the fear of saying something wrong! Available separately is Contemporary Japanese Workbook Volume 2. This accompanying Japanese workbook serves as a supplementary book as well as a standalone comprehensive workbook for practicing and reviewing the language. An audio CD containing drills, dialogs and listening comprehension exercises for most activities accompanies the workbook.
    • £12.79
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  • Tuttle Pocket Korean Dictionary

    Kyubyong Park

    Product Code: BYVWW
    Paperback
    A handy resource for travel, classroom learning and international business! The Tuttle Pocket Korean Dictionary is the most up-to-date pocket Korean dictionary available; It covers the most up-to-date terms and expressions used daily in the Korean language. This comprehensive, portable reference has Korean-English and English-Korean sections. It contains over 15,000 entries, featuring words and phrases most useful for conversational Korean. Both Korean characters and easy-to-pronounce Romanised versions are included. The two-colour layout is user-friendly: Easy-to-read headwords are in blue, so words and phrases can be located with ease; Useful notes throughout offer extra pointers on correct use of terms; Also includes a concise guide to Korean grammar basics, pronunciation, and characters.
    • £6.39
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  • Babel

    Gaston Dorren

    Product Code: BYVFN
    Paperback
    If you were to master the twenty languages discussed in Babel, you could talk with three quarters of the world's population. But what makes these languages stand out amid the world's estimated 6,500 tongues? Gaston Dorren delves deep into the linguistic oddities and extraordinary stories of these diverse lingua francas, tracing their origins and their sometimes bloody rise to greatness. He deciphers their bewildering array of scripts, presents the gems and gaps in their vocabularies and charts their coinages and loans. He even explains how their grammars order their speakers' worldview. Combining linguistics and cultural history, Babel takes us on an intriguing tour of the world, addressing such questions as how tiny Portugal spawned a major world language and Holland didn't, why Japanese women talk differently from men, what it means for Russian to be 'related' to English, and how non-alphabetic scripts, such as those of India and China, do the same job as our 26 letters. Not to mention the conundrums of why Vietnamese has four forms for 'I', or how Tamil pronouns keep humans and deities apart. Babel will change the way you look at the world and how we all speak.
    • £7.99
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Learn all about the peculiarities of language and why we speak the way we do in our linguistics books. If you’re interested in the English language and want to know more about its origins and evolution then our books on linguistics are your new must-reads.

Where did language come from?

Trace the origins of language back to the various countries and civilisations that have influenced it. Get to grips with grammar and tackle the puzzle of punctuation with our helpful linguistics books so you’ll never be lost in words again.

What’s with our strange sayings?

Every language has their own fair share of strange sayings that makes sense to their speakers alone but who decides on these phrases and where do they come from? In our range of books on linguistics you can finally learn the answers to why we use some of our oddest sayings.