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With a language disappearing every two weeks and neologisms springing up almost daily, an understanding of the origins and currency of language has never seemed more relevant. In this charming volume, expert linguist David Crystal proves why the story of language deserves retelling.
From an infant’s first words to the peculiar dialect of text messaging, A Little Book of Language ranges widely, revealing language’s myriad intricacies and quirks. Crystal delves into the development of unique linguistic styles, the origins of obscure accents and the search for the first written word. He discusses the plight of endangered languages, as well as successful cases of linguistic revitalisation. Much more than a history, this book also turns to the future of language, exploring the effect of technology on our day-to-day reading, writing and speech. Through enlightening diagrams and quizzes, as well as Crystal’s avuncular and entertaining style, A Little Book of Language reveals the story of language to be a captivating tale for all ages.
David Crystal is one of the world’s pre-eminent language specialists. An honorary professor at Bangor University, he has published many books on the English language and linguistics, edited several general encyclopedias and written textbooks on language for use in schools. A regular contributor to radio and television programmes, his recent books include The Stories of English (2004), Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 (2008)and Just a Phrase I’m Going Through (2009). He lives in Holyhead, Wales.