View your shopping cart.

Banner Message

For a limited time, last semester's preceptorial books are 20% off!

Our campus remains closed to visitors, so we cannot offer in-person browsing or curbside pickup at this time. We process mail orders from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. MT, Monday through Friday.

Linguistics

ADAM'S TONGUE: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans

ADAM'S TONGUE: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans

Author: BICKERTON, DEREK
$16.00
More Info

How language evolved has been called "the hardest problem in science." In Adam's Tongue, Derek Bickerton--long a leading authority in this field--shows how and why previous attempts to solve that problem have fallen short. Taking cues from topics as diverse as the foraging strategies of ants, the distribution of large prehistoric herbivores, and the construction of ecological niches, Bickerton produces a dazzling new alternative to the conventional wisdom.

Language is unique to humans, but it isn't the only thing that sets us apart from other species--our cognitive powers are qualitatively different. So could there be two separate discontinuities between humans and the rest of nature? No, says Bickerton; he shows how the mere possession of symbolic units--words--automatically opened a new and different cognitive universe, one that yielded novel innovations ranging from barbed arrowheads to the Apollo spacecraft.

Written in Bickerton's lucid and irreverent style, this book is the first to thoroughly integrate the story of how language evolved with the story of how humans evolved. Sure to be controversial, it will make indispensable reading both for experts in the field and for every reader who has ever wondered how a species as remarkable as ours could have come into existence.'

product image

ANIMAL LANGUAGES

Author: MEIJER, EVA
$29.95
More Info

How animals speak to each other and to humans, from chimpanzees who learn sign language to dogs who parse the meaning of other dogs' growls.

Is language what sets humans apart from other animals, as many have argued? Or do animals speak in their own languages, to each other and to us? In Animal Languages, Eva Meijer explores the latter possibility.

Meijer tells us about Alex, the gray parrot who knew more than one hundred words, and Chaser, the border collie who had a talent for grammar. She introduces us to Washoe, the chimpanzee who grew up with humans and learned sign language; Kosik, the elephant who spoke to humans in human language and to his female elephant companion in elephant language; and Noc, the beluga whale who mimicked human speech. She tells us that dogs are able to interpret the meaning of other dogs' growls; that prairie dogs have alarm calls that offer informative details about intruders (specifying, among other things, size, color, and speed of approach); and that marmosets take turns in conversations and teach this skill to their offspring.

But beyond all these interesting details, Meijer makes a more profound observation. Talking with animals forces us to challenge the hierarchy of humans and other animals, and suggests a new way of thinking about language. Animal Languages shows us that language is broader and richer than we imagined, and that meaningful expression does not require human words.

AS TIME GOES BY: TENSE AND UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR

AS TIME GOES BY: TENSE AND UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR

Author: HORNSTEIN, NORBERT
$13.95
More Info

How do humans acquire, at a very early age and from fragmentary and haphazard data, the complex patterns of their native language? This is the logical problem of language acquisition, and it is the question that directs the search for an innate universal grammar. As Time Goes By extends the search by proposing a theory of natural-language tense that will be responsive to the problem of language acquisition.

The clearly written discussion proceeds step-by-step from simple observations and principles to far-reaching conclusions involving complex data carefully selected and persuasively presented. Throughout, Hornstein focuses on the logical problem of language acquisition, highlighting the importance of explanatory adequacy and the role of syntactic representations in determining intricate properties of semantic interpretation.

CABINET OF LINGUISTIC CURIOSITIES: A YEARBOOK OF FORGOTTEN WORDS

CABINET OF LINGUISTIC CURIOSITIES: A YEARBOOK OF FORGOTTEN WORDS

Author: JONES, PAUL ANTHONY
$20.00
More Info
Open The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities and you'll find both a word and a day to remember, every day of the year. Each day has its own dedicated entry, on which a curious or notable event--and an equally curious or notable word--are explored.
On the day on which flirting was banned in New York City, for instance, you'll discover why to "sheep's-eye" someone once meant to look at them amorously. On the day on which a disillusioned San Franciscan declared himself Emperor of the United States, you'll find the word "mamamouchi," a term for people who consider themselves more important than they truly are. And on the day on which George Frideric Handel completed his 259-page Messiah after twenty-four days of frenzied work, you'll see why a French loanword, literally meaning "a small wooden barrow," is used to refer to an intense period of work undertaken to meet a deadline.

The English language is vast enough to supply us with a word for every occasion--and this linguistic "wunderkammer" is here to prove precisely that. So whatever date this book has found its way into your hands, there's an entire year's worth of linguistic curiosities waiting to be found.

COSMIC WEB

COSMIC WEB

Author: HAYLES, N. KATHERINE
$13.95
More Info

From the central concept of the field--which depicts the world as a mutually interactive whole, with each part connected to every other part by an underlying field-- have come models as diverse as quantum mathematics and Saussure's theory of language. In The Cosmic Web, N. Katherine Hayles seeks to establish the scope of the field concept and to assess its importance for contemporary thought. She then explores the literary strategies that are attributable directly or indirectly to the new paradigm; among the texts at which she looks closely are Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Nabokov's Ada, D. H. Lawrence's early novels and essays, Borges's fiction, and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.

product image

COURSE IN GENERAL LINGUISTICS

Author: SAUSSURE, FERDINAND DE
$30.00
More Info
The founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, thus enabling the development of French feminism, gender studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on Saussure's lectures, Course in General Linguistics (1916) traces the rise and fall of the historical linguistics in which Saussure was trained, the synchronic or structural linguistics with which he replaced it, and the new look of diachronic linguistics that followed this change. Most important, Saussure presents the principles of a new linguistic science that includes the invention of semiology, or the theory of the "signifier," the "signified," and the "sign" that they combine to produce.

This is the first critical edition of Course in General Linguistics to appear in English and restores Wade Baskin's original translation of 1959, in which the terms "signifier" and "signified" are introduced into English in this precise way. Baskin renders Saussure clearly and accessibly, allowing readers to experience his shift of the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and his expansion of poetics to include all media, including the life sciences and environmentalism. An introduction situates Saussure within the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made Course in General Linguistics legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy.

DICTIONARY OF GESTURES: EXPRESSIVE COMPORTMENTS AND MOVEMENTS IN USE AROUND THE WORLD

DICTIONARY OF GESTURES: EXPRESSIVE COMPORTMENTS AND MOVEMENTS IN USE AROUND THE WORLD

Author: CARADEC, FRANÇOIS
$24.95
More Info
An illustrated guide to more than 850 gestures and their meanings around the world, from a nod of the head to a click of the heels.

Gestures convey meaning with a flourish. A vigorous nod of the head, a bold jut of the chin, an enthusiastic thumbs-up: all speak louder than words. Yet the same gesture may have different meanings in different parts of the world. What Americans understand as the "A-OK gesture," for example, is an obscene insult in the Arab world. This volume is the reference book we didn't know we needed--an illustrated dictionary of 850 gestures and their meanings around the world. It catalogs voluntary gestures made to communicate openly--as distinct from sign language, dance moves, involuntary "tells," or secret handshakes--and explains what the gesture conveys in a variety of locations. It is organized by body part, from top to bottom, from head (nodding, shaking, turning) to foot (scraping, kicking, playing footsie).

We learn that "to oscillate the head while gently throwing it back" communicates approval in some countries even though it resembles the headshake of disapproval used in other countries; that "to tap a slightly inflated cheek" constitutes an erotic invitation when accompanied by a wink; that the middle finger pointed in the air signifies approval in South America. We may already know that it is a grave insult in the Middle East and Asia to display the sole of one's shoe, but perhaps not that motorcyclists sometimes greet each other by raising a foot. Illustrated with clever line drawings and documented with quotations from literature (the author, François Caradec, was a distinguished and prolific historian of literature, culture, and humorous oddities, as well as a novelist and poet), this dictionary offers readers unique lessons in polylingual meaning.

EMPIRES OF THE WORD: A Language History of the World

EMPIRES OF THE WORD: A Language History of the World

Author: OSTLER, NICHOLAS
$17.99
More Info

Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it.

From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages.

A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.
ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE

ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE

Author: CRYSTAL, DAVID
$12.95
More Info
David Crystal, world authority on the English language, has written a timely and informative account of the phenomenon of English as a global language. It includes a historical summary of the global development of English; an analysis, well supported by facts and figures, of the current spread and status of English as a first and second language internationally; and an informed assessment - by one of the leading scholars of and general writers about language matters - of the future of English. The book asks three basic questions: what makes a world language? why is English the leading candidate? and will it continue to hold that position? It steers even-handedly through the minefield of political debate about the cultural hegemony of English, and will appeal to anyone with an interest in language issues, whatever their political views on the subject.
ENGLISH LANGUAGES

ENGLISH LANGUAGES

Author: MCARTHUR, TOM
$13.95
More Info
Hundreds of millions of people use English every day everywhere in the world, but may or may not succeed in understanding each other. Despite the success of its standard form (or forms) in many countries, the complex called "English" is immensely diverse--probably more diverse than any single language has ever been--and is likely to become even more so in the next century. This book is a compelling and broad-ranging invitation to consider the variety, the options and the implications of this vast system. The English Languages looks at the "pluralism" of English, the "Englishes," that have arisen in the past twenty years or so, and addresses the question of whether or not English can be considered a family of languages in its own right, like the Romance languages.
product image

FIRST WORD: SEARCH FOR THE ORIGINS OF LANGUAGE

Author: KENNEALY, CHRISTINE
$16.00
More Info
An accessible exploration of a burgeoning new field: the incredible evolution of language

The first popular book to recount the exciting, very recent developments in tracing the origins of language, The First Word is at the forefront of a controversial, compelling new field. Acclaimed science writer Christine Kenneally explains how a relatively small group of scientists that include Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker assembled the astounding narrative of how the fundamental process of evolution produced a linguistic ape?in other words, us. Infused with the wonder of discovery, this vital and engrossing book offers us all a better understanding of the story of humankind.

product image

FOUR WORDS FOR FRIEND: WHY USING MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE MATTERS NOW MORE THAN EVER

Author: KOHN, MAREK
$20.00
More Info
In a world that has global English and translation technology, it's easy to assume that the need to use more than one language is diminishing--but Marek Kohn argues that it is more important than everin this exploration of bilingualism and plural language use.
FROM HAND TO MOUTH: THE ORIGINS OF LANGUAGE

FROM HAND TO MOUTH: THE ORIGINS OF LANGUAGE

Author: CORBALLIS, MICHAEL
$17.95
More Info

It is often said that speech is what distinguishes us from other animals. But are we all talk? What if language was bequeathed to us not by word of mouth, but as a hand-me-down?

The notion that language evolved not from animal cries but from manual and facial gestures--that, for most of human history, actions have spoken louder than words--has been around since Condillac. But never before has anyone developed a full-fledged theory of how, why, and with what effects language evolved from a gestural system to the spoken word. Marshaling far-flung evidence from anthropology, animal behavior, neurology, molecular biology, anatomy, linguistics, and evolutionary psychology, Michael Corballis makes the case that language developed, with the emergence of Homo sapiens, from primate gestures to a true signed language, complete with grammar and syntax and at best punctuated with grunts and other vocalizations. While vocal utterance played an increasingly important complementary role, autonomous speech did not appear until about 50,000 years ago--much later than generally believed.

Bringing in significant new evidence to bolster what has been a minority view, Corballis goes beyond earlier supporters of a gestural theory by suggesting why speech eventually (but not completely!) supplanted gesture. He then uses this milestone to account for the artistic explosion and demographic triumph of the particular group of Homo sapiens from whom we are descended. And he asserts that speech, like written language, was a cultural invention and not a biological fait accompli.

Writing with wit and eloquence, Corballis makes nimble reference to literature, mythology, natural history, sports, and contemporary politics as he explains in fascinating detail what we now know about such varied subjects as early hominid evolution, modern signed languages, and the causes of left-handedness. From Hand to Mouth will have scholars and laymen alike talking--and sometimes gesturing--for years to come.

product image

GIFT OF THE GAB: HOW ELOQUENCE WORKS

Author: CRYSTAL, DAVID
$16.00
More Info
In this entertaining and original book, David Crystal explores spoken eloquence and how it works in everyday situations as well as in great political oratory. He offers an array of useful insights for all those who wish to tap the power of eloquent speech.
GLOBISH: How English Became the World's Language

GLOBISH: How English Became the World's Language

Author: MCCRUM, ROBERT
$16.95
More Info
It seems impossible: a small island in the North Atlantic, colonized by Rome, then pillaged for hundreds of years by marauding neighbors, becomes the dominant world power in the nineteenth century. In this provocative new look at the course of empire, Robert McCrum shows how the language of the Anglo-American imperium has become the world's lingua franca. In the twenty-first century, writes the author, English + Microsoft = Globish.
HOW LANGUAGE BEGAN: THE STORY OF HUMANITY'S GREATEST INVENTION

HOW LANGUAGE BEGAN: THE STORY OF HUMANITY'S GREATEST INVENTION

Author: EVERETT, DANIEL L.
$19.95
More Info

At the time of its publication, How Language Began received high acclaim for capturing the fascinating history of mankind's most incredible creation. Deemed a "bombshell" linguist and "instant folk hero" by Tom Wolfe (Harper's), Daniel L. Everett posits that the near- 7,000 languages that exist today are not only the product of one million years of evolution but also have allowed us to become Earth's apex predator. Tracing 60,000 generations, Everett debunks long- held theories across a spectrum of disciplines to affi rm the idea that we are not born with an instinct for language. Woven with anecdotes of his nearly forty years of fi eldwork amongst Amazonian hunter- gatherers, this is a "completely enthralling" (Spectator) exploration of our humanity and a landmark study of what makes us human.

"[An] ambitious text. . . . Everett's amiable tone, and especially his captivating anecdotes . . ., will help the neophyte along."-- New York Times Book Review
I SPEAK, THEREFORE I AM: SEVENTEEN THOUGHTS ABOUT LANGUAGE

I SPEAK, THEREFORE I AM: SEVENTEEN THOUGHTS ABOUT LANGUAGE

Author: MORO, ANDREA C.
$17.00
More Info
There are no men so dull and stupid, not even idiots, as to be incapable of joining together different words, and thereby constructing a declaration by which to make their thoughts understood.... On the other hand, there is no other animal, however perfect or happily circumstanced which can do the like.--Descartes

Language is more like a snowflake than a giraffe's neck. Its specific properties are determined by laws of nature, they have not developed through the accumulation of historical accidents.--Noam Chomsky

In I Speak, Therefore I Am, the Italian linguist and neuroscientist Andrea Moro composes an album of his favorite quotations from the history of linguistics, beginning with the Book of Genesis and the power of naming and concluding with Noam Chomsky's metaphor that language is a snowflake. Moro's seventeen linguistic thoughts and his commentary on them display the humanness of language: our need to name and interpret this world and create imaginary ones, to express and understand ourselves. This book is sure to delight anyone who enjoys the ineffable paradox that is human language.

product image

IRONY AND SARCASM

Author: KREUZ, ROGER
$15.95
More Info

A biography of two troublesome words.

Isn't it ironic? Or is it? Never mind, I'm just being sarcastic (or am I?). Irony and sarcasm are two of the most misused, misapplied, and misunderstood words in our conversational lexicon. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, psycholinguist Roger Kreuz offers an enlightening and concise overview of the life and times of these two terms, mapping their evolution from Greek philosophy and Roman rhetoric to modern literary criticism to emojis.

Kreuz describes eight different ways that irony has been used through the centuries, proceeding from Socratic to dramatic to cosmic irony. He explains that verbal irony--irony as it is traditionally understood--refers to statements that mean something different (frequently the opposite) of what is literally intended, and defines sarcasm as a type of verbal irony. Kreuz outlines the prerequisites for irony and sarcasm (one of which is a shared frame of reference); clarifies what irony is not (coincidence, paradox, satire) and what it can be (among other things, a socially acceptable way to express hostility); recounts ways that people can signal their ironic intentions; and considers the difficulties of online irony. Finally, he wonders if, because irony refers to so many different phenomena, people may gradually stop using the word, with sarcasm taking over its verbal duties.

product image

IT'S ALL GREEK: BORROWED WORDS AND THEIR HISTORIES

Author: TULLOCH, ALEXANDER
$22.50
More Info
Most of us are aware that the words for some of our most important concepts stem from ancient Greek roots--words such as geometry, democracy, technology, and aesthetics. But lesser known is the wide and varied scope of old Athenian influence on the English language, which extends to some of our most mundane, run-of-the-mill words--words like purse, sketch, and marmalade.

This book offers a word-by-word look at the influence of Greek on everyday words in English, telling the stories behind the etymological developments of each example and tracing their routes into modern English via Latin and European languages. It also explains connections with ancient Greek culture, in particular mythology, politics, and warfare, and includes proverbs and quotations from Greek literature. Revealing how deeply indebted we are to the language spoken in Athens 2,500 years ago, this book is the perfect gift for any logophile.

LANGUAGE & HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

LANGUAGE & HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

Author: BICKERTON, DEREK
$14.95
More Info
According to Bickerton, the behavioral sciences have failed to give an adequate account of human nature at least partly because of the conjunction and mutual reinforcement of two widespread beliefs: that language is simply a means of communication and that human intelligence is the result of the rapid growth and unusual size of human brains. Bickerton argues that each of the properties distinguishing human intelligence and consciousness from that of other animals can be shown to derive straightforwardly from properties of language. In essence, language arose as a representational system, not a means of communication or a skill, and not a product of culture but an evolutionary adaptation. The author stresses the necessity of viewing intelligence in evolutionary terms, seeing it not as problem solving but as a way of maintaining homeostasis - the preservation of those conditions most favorable to an organism, the optimal achievable conditions for survival and well-being. The term protolanguage is used to describe the stringing together of symbols that prehuman hominids employed. "It did not allow them to turn today's imagination into tomorrow's fact. But it is just this power to transform imagination into fact that distinguishes human behavior from that of our ancestral species, and indeed from that of all other species. It is exactly what enables us to change our behavior, or invent vast ranges of new behavior, practically overnight, with no concomitant genetic changes." Language and Human Behavior should be of interest to anyone in the behavioral and evolutionary sciences and to all those concerned with the role of language in human behavior.

LANGUAGE and MIND

Author: CHOMSKY, NOAM
$43.00
More Info

This is the third edition of Chomsky's outstanding collection of essays on language and mind, first published in 2006. The first six chapters, originally published in the 1960s, made a groundbreaking contribution to linguistic theory. This edition complements them with an additional chapter and a new preface, bringing Chomsky's influential approach into the twenty-first century. Chapters 1-6 present Chomsky's early work on the nature and acquisition of language as a genetically endowed, biological system (Universal Grammar), through the rules and principles of which we acquire an internalized knowledge (I-language). Over the past fifty years, this framework has sparked an explosion of inquiry into a wide range of languages, and has yielded some major theoretical questions. The final chapter revisits the key issues, reviewing the 'biolinguistic' approach that has guided Chomsky's work from its origins to the present day, and raising some novel and exciting challenges for the study of language and mind.

product image

LANGUAGE and the PROBLEMS OF KNOWLEDGE

Author: CHOMSKY, NOAM
$35.00
More Info
"Language and Problems of Knowledge" is Noam Chomsky's most accessible statement on the nature, origins, and current concerns of the field of linguistics. He frames the lectures with four fundamental questions: What do we know when we are able to speak and understand a language? How is this knowledge acquired? How do we use this knowledge? What are the physical mechanisms involved in the representation, acquisition, and use of this knowledge?
Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf

Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf

Author: Whorf, Benjamin Lee
$41.00
More Info

Writings by a pioneering linguist, including his famous work on the Hopi language, general reflections on language and meaning, and the Yale Report.

The pioneering linguist Benjamin Whorf (1897-1941) grasped the relationship between human language and human thinking: how language can shape our innermost thoughts. His basic thesis is that our perception of the world and our ways of thinking about it are deeply influenced by the structure of the languages we speak. The writings collected in this volume include important papers on the Maya, Hopi, and Shawnee languages, as well as more general reflections on language and meaning.

Whorf's ideas about the relation of language and thought have always appealed to a wide audience, but their reception in expert circles has alternated between dismissal and applause. Recently the language sciences have headed in directions that give Whorf's thinking a renewed relevance. Hence this new edition of Whorf's classic work is especially timely.

The second edition includes all the writings from the first edition as well as John Carroll's original introduction, a new foreword by Stephen Levinson of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics that puts Whorf's work in historical and contemporary context, and new indexes. In addition, this edition offers Whorf's Yale Report, an important work from Whorf's mature oeuvre.

LINGUISTICS SURVEY 2

LINGUISTICS SURVEY 2

Author: NEWMEYER, FREDERICK
$17.95
More Info
Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey is a comprehensive introduction to prevalent research in all branches of the field of linguistics, from syntactic theory to ethnography of speaking, from signed language to the mental lexicon, from language acquisition to discourse analysis. Each chapter has been written by a specialist particularly distinguished in his or her field who has accepted the challenge of reviewing the current issues and future prospects in sufficient depth for the scholar and with sufficient clarity for the student. Each volume can be read independently and has a particular focus. Volume I covers the internal structure of the language faculty itself, while Volume II considers the evidence for, and the implications of, a generativist approach to language. Psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics are covered in Volume III, and Volume IV concentrates on sociolinguistics and the allied fields of anthropological linguistics and discourse and conversation analysis. Several of the chapters in the work concentrate on the interface between different aspects of linguistic theory or the boundaries between linguistic theory and other disciplines. Thus in both its scope and in its approach the Survey is a unique and fundamental work of reference. It undoubtedly fulfils the editor's principal aim of providing a wealth of information, insight and ideas that will excite and challenge all readers with an interest in linguistics.
MODALITY & TENSE

MODALITY & TENSE

Author: FINE KIT
$35.00
More Info
Since the 1970s Kit Fine has been one of the leading contributors to work at the intersection of logic and metaphysics. This is his eagerly-awaited first book in the area. It draws together a series of essays, three of them previously unpublished, on possibility, necessity, and tense. These puzzling aspects of the way the world is have been the focus of considerable philosophical attention in recent decades. A helpful introduction orients the reader and offers a way into some of the most original work in contemporary philosophy.
product image

ON THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGES

Author: RUHLEN, MERRITT
$18.95
More Info
This book presents a series of illuminating studies which conclusively demonstrates that the prevailing conception of historical linguistics is deeply flawed. Most linguists today believe that there is no good evidence that the Indo-European family of languages is related to any other language family, or even any other language. In like manner, the New World is deemed to contain hundreds of language families, among which there are no apparent links. Furthermore, it is claimed, there are no known connections between the languages of the Old World and those of the Americas. And finally, the strongest belief of all is that there is no trace of genetic affinity--nor could there be--among the world's language families. The author argues that all of these firmly entrenched--and vigorously defended--beliefs are false, that they are myths propagated by a small group of scholars who have failed to understand the true basis of genetic affinity. Twentieth-century Indo-Europeanists (though not their nineteenth-century forebears) have confused the issue of genetic affinity, which derives from classification, with such traditional concerns of historical linguistics as reconstruction and sound correspondences. Once it is recognized that taxonomy, or classification, must precede these traditional concerns, the apparent conflict between the traditional view and that of Joseph Greenberg and his followers is seen to be illusory. And finally, a comparison of all the world's languages in this new perspective leaves little doubt that all extant human languages share a common origin.
OUR MAGNIFICENT BASTARD TONGUE

OUR MAGNIFICENT BASTARD TONGUE

Author: MCWHORTER, JOHN
$16.00
More Info
A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar

Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English-- and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it's not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).

PRODIGAL TONGUE: THE LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AMERICAN AND BRITISH ENGLISH

PRODIGAL TONGUE: THE LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AMERICAN AND BRITISH ENGLISH

Author: MURPHY, LYNNE
$17.00
More Info
CHOSEN BY THE ECONOMIST AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

An American linguist teaching in England explores the sibling rivalry between British and American English



"English accents are the sexiest."
"Americans have ruined the English language."

Such claims about the English language are often repeated but rarely examined. Professor Lynne Murphy is on the linguistic front line. In The Prodigal Tongue she explores the fiction and reality of the special relationship between British and American English. By examining the causes and symptoms of American Verbal Inferiority Complex and its flipside, British Verbal Superiority Complex, Murphy unravels the prejudices, stereotypes and insecurities that shape our attitudes to our own language.

With great humo(u)r and new insights, Lynne Murphy looks at the social, political and linguistic forces that have driven American and British English in different directions: how Americans got from centre to center, why British accents are growing away from American ones, and what different things we mean when we say estate, frown, or middle class. Is anyone winning this war of the words? Will Yanks and Brits ever really understand each other?

SHORTCUT: HOW ANALOGIES REVEAL CONNECTIONS, SPARK INNOVATION, AND SELL OUR GREATEST IDEAS

SHORTCUT: HOW ANALOGIES REVEAL CONNECTIONS, SPARK INNOVATION, AND SELL OUR GREATEST IDEAS

Author: POLLACK, JOHN
$17.00
More Info
A former presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton explores the hidden power of analogy to fuel thought, connect ideas, spark innovation, and shape outcomes.

From the meatpacking plants that inspired Henry Ford's first moving assembly line to the domino theory that led America into Vietnam to the "bicycle for the mind" that Steve Jobs envisioned as the Macintosh computer, analogies have played a dynamic role in shaping the world around us--and still do today.

Analogies are far more complex than their SAT stereotype and lie at the very core of human cognition and creativity. Once we become aware of this, we start seeing them everywhere--in ads, apps, political debates, legal arguments, logos, and euphemisms, to name just a few. At their very best, analogies inspire new ways of thinking, enable invention, and motivate people to action. Unfortunately, not every analogy that rings true is true. That's why, at their worst, analogies can deceive, manipulate, or mislead us into disaster. The challenge? Spotting the difference before it's too late.

Rich with engaging stories, surprising examples, and a practical method to evaluate the truth or effectiveness of any analogy, Shortcut will improve critical thinking, enhance creativity, and offer readers a fresh approach to resolving some of today's most intractable challenges.

product image

USING LANGUAGE

Author: CLARK, HERBERT
$19.95
More Info
Herbert Clark argues that language use is more than the sum of a speaker speaking and a listener listening. It is the joint action that emerges when speakers and listeners, writers and readers perform their individual actions in coordination, as ensembles. In contrast to work within the cognitive sciences, which has seen language use as an individual process, and to work within the social sciences, which has seen it as a social process, the author argues strongly that language use embodies both individual and social processes.
WHAT LANGUAGE IS

WHAT LANGUAGE IS

Author: MCWHORTER, JOHN
$16.00
More Info
A love letter to languages, celebrating their curiosities and smashing assumptions about correct grammar

An eye-opening tour for all language lovers, What Language Is offers a fascinating new perspective on the way humans communicate. from vanishing languages spoken by a few hundred people to major tongues like Chinese, and with copious revelations about the hodgepodge nature of English, John McWhorter shows readers how to see and hear languages as a linguist does.

Packed with big ideas about language alongside wonderful trivia, What Language Is explains how languages across the globe (the Queen's English and Suriname creoles alike) originate, evolve, multiply, and divide. Raising provocative questions about what qualifies as a language (so-called slang does have structured grammar), McWhorter takes readers on a marvelous journey through time and place--from Persia to the languages of Sri Lanka--to deliver a feast of facts about the wonders of human linguistic expression.
WORDS ON THE MOVE: WHY ENGLISH WON'T-AND CAN'T-SIT STILL (LIKE LITERALLY)

WORDS ON THE MOVE: WHY ENGLISH WON'T-AND CAN'T-SIT STILL (LIKE LITERALLY)

Author: MCWHORTER, JOHN
$18.00
More Info

Language is always changing, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it's the use of literally to mean "figuratively," or the way young people use LOL or business jargon like What's the ask?--it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes.

But the truth is different and a lot less scary. Drawing examples from everyday life and employing a generous helping of humor, John McWhorter shows that these shifts are common to all languages, and that we should embrace these changes, not condemn them.

He opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to words and expressions we use every day. Did you know that silly once meant "blessed"? Or that ought was the original past tense of owe? Or that the suffix -ly in adverbs is actually a remnant of the word like?

In Words on the Move, McWhorter encourages us to marvel at the dynamism and resilience of the English language, and his book offers a delightful journey where we see that words are ever on the move and our lives are all the richer for it.

WRITTEN IN STONE: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE STONE AGE AND THE ORIGINS OF MODERN LANGUAGE

WRITTEN IN STONE: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE STONE AGE AND THE ORIGINS OF MODERN LANGUAGE

Author: STEVENS, CHRISTOPHER
$16.95
More Info
Half the world's population speaks a language that has evolved from a single, prehistoric mother tongue. A mother tongue first spoken in Stone Age times, on the steppes of central Eurasia 6,500 years ago. It was so effective that it flourished for two thousand years. It was a language that spread from the shores of the Black Sea across almost all of Europe and much of Asia. It is the genetic basis of everything we speak and write today--the DNA of language.Written in Stone combines detective work, mythology, ancient history, archaeology, the roots of society, technology and warfare, and the sheer fascination of words to explore that original mother tongue, sketching the connections woven throughout the immense vocabulary of English--with some surprising results.In snappy, lively and often very funny chapters, it uncovers the most influential and important words used by our Neolithic ancestors, and shows how they are still in constant use today--the building blocks of all our most common words and phrases.