Author: Sally Johnson and Natalie Braber
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Price: £55.00 and £19.99
ISBN 9780521872089 and 692991
This is an encyclopaedic survey of the German language - its history, a look at who speaks the language (over a million people in Brazil, for instance), its sounds, vocabulary, grammar and regional varieties. The book has to assume no prior knowledge of linguistics, so the authors devote a lot of space to introducing the metalanguage, carefully and very well. Inevitably, though, that leaves them little scope to go beyond the basic facts and into more advanced areas. It would have been nice to see a chapter about controversial topics among Germanists, with ideas for project work by advanced students of German: but sadly there are so few of these left in UK universities that it would hardly be worth it.
Who is it for? Students of German who want to know about the language while they are mastering it.
Presentation: Careful and steady.
Would you recommend it? Definitely.