9780631176527 / 0631176527

An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages (Blackwell Reference)


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Publisher:Blackwell Pub, 1993



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About the book:

The aim of this book is to provide a succinct, accessible, and comprehensive guide to everyday language use around the world. The terminology of linguistic concepts and names are drawn from the various areas of language study, such as language teaching, speech pathology, stylistics, typography and lexicography, as well as from core topics such as grammar, figures of speech, and basic phonetics. Several hundred entries cover individual languages. The "Dictionary" sets out to answer the kinds of questions people are likely to ask about language, such as "Which language(s) do they speak in such-a-country?" (all the countries of the world are included) and "How many people speak X?". A historical background is given to the language profiles (eg early literary history). Pronunciations of language names are given. A small number of entries deal with linguistics, in particular the main schools of thought and basic concepts, such as competence and morphology. But only a small number of technical concepts are found here. Abbreviations are included. In all, there are almost 2750 entries, and there are c. 5000 cross-references, to give readers a wide range of access points to the information. Carefulley chosen illustrations show things that cannot easily be expressed in text, such as alphabets. A selection of cartoons reinforces the author's conviction that language study can be fun.

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