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How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Liveor Die
A parrot uncomprehendingly rattles off a string of words learned by rote. And we marvel! Yet we seem to take our own astonishing linguistic powers for granted—the ability to speak, listen, and understand, to read and write. We all understand why language works—we have to communicate to survive—and now David Crystal, the world authority on language, shows...
A parrot uncomprehendingly rattles off a string of words learned by rote. And we marvel! Yet we seem to take our own astonishing linguistic powers for granted—the ability to speak, listen, and understand, to read and write. We all understand why language works—we have to communicate to survive—and now David Crystal, the world authority on language, shows us how. How are languages born? How does conversation work? How do we learn how to read? How do gestures and tone of voice impact communication? And what happens when a language goes wrong? How Language Works answers questions about the innumerable facets of language, from how we absorb all those grammatical rules to how we decide if a word is rude or polite. Whether looking at the whistle languages of the Canary Islands, or describing the layout of the human throat; whether assessing the importance of eyebrow flashes in conversation, or showing how the way we speak betrays who we want to be—How Language Works is a book that will enrich the lives of everyone who reads it. Illuminating and intriguing, this landmark book is the ultimate guide to the mysteries of the language we all use every day.
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