A Little Book of Language by David Crystal
(Little Histories)

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Synopsis

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, a narrative history written explicitly for a young audience, expert linguist David Crystal proves why the story of language deserves retelling.

From the first words of an infant to the peculiar modern dialect of text messaging, A Little Book of Language ranges widely, revealing language’s myriad intricacies and quirks. In animated fashion, Crystal sheds light on 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 revitalization. Much more than a history, Crystal’s work looks forward to the future of language, exploring the effect of technology on our day-to-day reading, writing, and speech. Through enlightening tables, diagrams, and quizzes, as well as Crystal’s avuncular and entertaining style, A Little Book of Language will reveal the story of language to be a captivating tale for all ages.

 

About David Crystal

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David Crystal is one of the world's preeminent language specialists. Writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster, he is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has written nearly 100 books, including The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, By Hook or By Crook: A Journey in Search of English, Txtng: The Gr8 Db8, The Stories of English, and Rediscover Grammar, and has published widely on phonetics, Shakespeare's language, and child language. In 1995 he was awarded the OBE for services to the English language. He lives in Holyhead, UK.
 
Published June 1, 2010 by Yale University Press. 272 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Little Book of Language

The Guardian

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A Little Book of Language by David Crystal Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Tell us what you think: Star-rate and review this book ...

Apr 23 2011 | Read Full Review of A Little Book of Language (Li...

Publishers Weekly

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In the mode of Yale’s successful publication of E.H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World, one of the world’s leading linguists introduces us to our most critical mode of communication. Crystal (T

May 03 2010 | Read Full Review of A Little Book of Language (Li...

The Daily Beast

Did you know that that at nine months, babies begin sounding like their parents—that is, French babies begin making French language sounds, Chinese babies start sounding Chinese, and so on?

Jun 14 2010 | Read Full Review of A Little Book of Language (Li...

Artswrap

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.

| Read Full Review of A Little Book of Language (Li...

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