This is a lively introduction for beginners to the study of a number of linguistic issues, mainly considered as they are relevant to English. Written in a personal style, it is squarely situated in the systemic- functional paradigm, where Halliday and "communication" are crucial. There are chapters on phonetics and phonology (with a set of International Phonetic Alphabet symbols suitable for RP), the lexicon, grammar (with some introduction of traditional grammatical concepts), spoken language, written language, language acquisition and language play.
Who is it for? Students interested in the basics of linguistic study.
Presentation: The book has a fresh, modern layout, using a number of fonts, boldface for key terms and text boxes for summaries.
Any extras? It contains a collection of brief biographies of linguists and philosophers (chosen to be compatible with the general intellectual direction of the volume). There is also a glossary of linguistic terminology.
Would you recommend it? The treatment of most issues is too shallow for introductory linguistics or English language courses. It might be suitable for those studying a related area, such as Tesol, who want to consider linguistic issues a little further.
Patrick Honeybone, lecturer in linguistics and English language at Edinburgh University.
What is this Thing Called Language? First Edition
Author - David Nunan
Publisher - Palgrave
Pages - 248
Price - £40.00 and £12.99
ISBN - 9780230008472 and 8489