Linguistics: An Introduction

Linguistics: An Introduction

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This is the new edition of Linguistics: An Introduction. It is a bestselling introductory textbook for all students of linguistics and language studies.

This reworked edition features:
-new chapters on sign languages, writing, and text and discourse
-coverage of writing in electronic media
-revised and updated chapters on languages of the world and psycholinguistics

Firmly based around taught courses and catering to student needs, it addresses all the topics that a student will need in their study of language. With key terms, further reading, questions at the end of each chapter, exercises and key paragraphs in stand-out boxes, this is a firmly pedagogic text that takes difficult concepts and explains them in an easy to understand way. It features examples taken from a range of languages across the world. Global in its scope and comprehensive in its coverage, this is the textbook of choice for linguistics students.

The book comes with a large Companion Website, also extensively revised and expanded. For lecturers and instructors, a comprehensive Answer Book is also available to go along with the questions throughout the chapters.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 33.02mm | 1,225g
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 50 illus
  • 0567049264
  • 9780567049261

Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Maps
List of Tables
Abbreviations and Conventions Used in Examples
1. Introduction
2. Sounds of Language: Phonetics and Phonology
3. Structure of Words: Morphology
4. Lexicon
5. Structure of Sentences: Syntax
6. Meaning
7. Sociolinguistics: Language in Its Social Context
8. Text and Discourse
9. Psycholinguistics: Language, the Mind and the Brain
10. Language Acquisition
11. Language in Its Biological Context
12. Sign languages
13. Writing
14. Unity and Diversity in Language Structure
15. Language Change
16. Languages of the World
Language Index
Name Index
Subject Index
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Review quote

[This book] encompasses the latest research results published by the most prominent linguists from the whole world ... The pedagogical merits make McGregor's Linguistics: An Introduction a special publication ... I wholeheartedly recommend the book to both teachers and students of language. Personally, I am going to take advantage of all the merits this textbook offers in my classroom with students of English philology. * LINGUIST List * William McGregor's new textbook is an excellent introduction to linguistics. It is clear, precise and readable, comprehensible and comprehensive, and it is eminently usable as both a core course text as well as a reference work. It also does not neglect the extensions and applications of linguistics in the real world. This book is likely to become the benchmark for linguistics texts in the next few years. * Peter Stockwell, Professor of Literary Linguistics, University of Nottingham, UK (of the first edition) * This book has set a new benchmark for linguistics textbooks. I will definitely be adding Linguistics: An Introduction to the core texts on relevant syllabi in my own teaching * British Association of Applied Linguistics (of the first edition) * McGregor's prose is clear... his explanations are articulate enough to convey the essential content, while devoid of tortuous,off-putting syntax... the thirteen chapters contain plenty of linguistic examplesand clever illustrations [and] the text is pedagogically friendly. McGregor hasdelivered a concise compendium, uncluttered and accessible, pedagogically wellthought through, and innovative in its theoretical approach to presenting thematerial. Instructors, students, and language buffs alike are encouraged togive it a gander. * American Speech, volume 84, number 3 (of the first edition) * [this book] is admirable for the breadth, depth and clarity of its coverage, encompassing a wide range of topics in a generally lucid and succinct fashion and elaborating on many areas of interest that are poorly covered in other introductory texts. * Functions of Language, Volume 18, No.1 (of the first edition) * McGregor's Introduction is a very well-balanced and informative introductory text. It is designed to give the student a sense of being able to think clearly about language, and to engage in the study of language in any of its diverse manifestations -- always in a perspective in which (as McGregor says) "meaning and use play absolutely central roles". The book will make it clear to students what it means to say that linguistics is the science of language. * M. A. K. Halliday, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia (of the first edition) * At last - an introduction to the study of language that is neither theory-neutral nor generative, but one that is cognitivist and functional. It highlights the links of linguistics with psychology, neuroscience and biological evolutionary theory. In addition it is engaging, pedagogically well thought through, lucidly written and nicely presented. The perfect book for beginners! * Eva Eppler, Senior Lecturer in English Language & Linguistics, Roehampton University, UK (of the first edition) * Linguistics: An Introduction provides a fresh yet traditional functionalist perspective on some of the core issues in modern linguistics, occupying an intermediate position between existing introductory workbooks and textbooks. Students will appreciate the no-nonsense focus on basic facts and concepts, as well as the frequent interjection of practical suggestions for how to study, learn, and conduct linguistic analysis. Professors will enjoy the steady infusion of examples from Australian and other lesser-known languages of the world, as well as the stimulating new questions at the end of each chapter. Linguistics is a textbook suitable for students all around the world -- and Americans will find much in this book to get their linguistic juices flowing. * Bert Vaux, University Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge, UK (of the first edition) * In this introductory text McGregor offers a clear and well-constructed account of core concepts, leading students to explore linguistic diversity with an impressive range of languages and examples, particularly in the later chapters of the book. A reflective student or independent reader with a fascination for the subject will find a wealth of material relevant to basic puzzles about language and more than ample guidance for further study. * Michael Lumsden, Department of Modern Languages, The University of Hull, UK (of the first edition) * William McGregor has produced a textbook which unfolds the study of language in a refreshing and lively way, positions the subject in relation to adjacent disciplines, and gives the beginning student a general view of the complexity and diversity of the world's languages. * David Cram, University of Oxford, UK (of the first edition) * This book is a superb introduction to linguistics, and cannot fail to entice students to read it. It covers not only the traditional core areas in linguistics of phonetics, phonology, morphology, the lexicon, syntax and semantics, but also highly topical and contemporary areas such as the evolution of language in its biological context, language change, the language and society interface, and how language is acquired, not to be overlooked in any solid modern textbook. Each chapter is very clearly set out, providing its structure and the objectives to be met at the very start while a concise summary of all the essential facts covered is given at the end, combined with a set of challenging questions and ideas for further reading. An extremely useful glossary of linguistic terms is also to be found at the end of the book. In fact, it is much more astutely organised than other comparable introductory textbooks on the market. Linguistics: an introduction presents a refreshing new approach to explaining the basic facts about human languages and will undoubtedly prove to be indispensable at university level. Another bonus is that it is completely technically up-to-date with its inclusion of website information and further sets of questions and thus can felicitously cater for today's enterprising student-internaut. In short, the book is a gem written by a consummate master of the art and discipline of linguistics, a scholar who has already notched up several decades of experience in empirical research in the field as well as in teaching at university level. * Hilary M. Chappell, Chair Professor in Linguistic Typology of East Asia, Centre de Recherches Linguistiques sur l'AsieOrientale, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France (of the first edition) * Instructors of introductory linguistics classes will find McGregor's book pedagogically stimulating and flexible. It offers a variety of avenues for getting students involved with the concepts of each chapter. As the introduction makes clear, each chapter is anchored to a problem solving pedagogy in order to engage students in the process of understanding. There is a deliberate attempt to bring real world scenarios and commonly held assumptions to bear on the study of linguistics so that one can address perspective questions of the sort, "Why should anyone be interested in the ideas of this chapter?". Instructors will find value in this book and its organization ... Overall, McGregor has fashioned a stimulating and pedagogically satisfying introductory textbook that will prove valuable for introductory linguistics taught in a variety of classroom formats. * Professor Ronald P. Schaefer, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, USA (of the first edition) * The pedagogical merits make McGregor's "Linguistics. An Introduction" a special publication. -- Marcin Kuczok, University of Silesia, Poland * LINGUIST * This introduction to linguistics provides an excellent overview of language study. * Sonja Molnar, University of Salzburg, Austria *
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About William B. McGregor

William B. McGregor is a Professor at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.
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