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For the Love of Language


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Table of Contents

Part I. 'Using Language to Expose Language' - Setting the Scene: 1. What is language?; 2. What linguists do; 3. Ways to study language; Part II. 'In the Beginning was the Word' - Words, their Structure and Meaning: 4. What's in a word?; 5. Morphology - the structure of words; 6. Semantics - the meaning of words; Part III. 'The Deep Grooves of Language' - Sounds and Grammar; 7. Phonetics; 8. Phonology - the sound system; 9. Syntax - the structure of sentences; Part IV. 'Language Is a Social Fact' - Variation and Change: 10. Variation and identity; 11. Structure across time; 12. Languages and cultures in contact; Part V. 'Language that Rolls up its Sleeves' - Language at Work: 13. Language and text; 14. Language and interaction; 15. Language and social values; Part VI. 'Language is the Dress of Thought' - Language, Mind and World: 16. Language, mind and the brain; 17. Language acquisition; 18. Computational linguistics.

About the Author

Kate Burridge is Professor of Linguistics in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Her main areas of research are: grammatical change in Germanic languages, the Pennsylvania German spoken by Amish/Mennonite communities in North America, the notion of linguistic taboo and the structure and history of English. She is a regular presenter of language segments on radio and has appeared as a panelist on ABC TV's an We Help?'. Tonya N. Stebbins has had a distinguished academic career as a lecturer, researcher and administrator. Among the subjects Dr Stebbins has taught for many years at the tertiary level are English grammar and subjects on the sociology of language and on bilingualism and language acquisition. Her online grammar learning tool, Grammarpedia (, was developed to support a blended learning approach to English grammar and has been used in tertiary courses on English grammar since 2008. Between 2010 and 2012, Dr Stebbins led the Centre for Research on Language Diversity (CRLD) at La Trobe University. CRLD, formerly known as the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, is one of Australia's leading institutes for grammatical research and language documentation for little known minority languages. In March 2012, Dr Stebbins commenced a 12-month leave of absence from La Trobe University to establish Languagewise, a consultancy specialising in innovative strategies for language development, and to make a more direct contribution to the support of language development and language diversity in the community.


'This textbook provides an accessible and engaging introduction to linguistic diversity and to the interesting mysteries about the design of the human mind and social interaction. Concepts are introduced with English and are then followed by examples from a range of languages including German, Japanese, Gurindji (Australia) and Mali (Papua New Guinea). This textbook is also the first to examine sign languages in detail using Auslan as its case study. The authors bring their high levels of community engagement and good humour to the task of introducing students to the fascinating world of linguistic structures.' Felicity Meakins, University of Queensland

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