The Five-Minute Linguist
The Five-Minute Linguist provides a lively introduction to the subject of language, suitable for beginning students and the general reader. Originating as a series of popular five-minute radio broadcasts, the book offers brief essays on a wide range of fascinating questions about language such as: What is the difference between dialects and languages? Does our language influence the way we think? Do languages have to change?
Accessible and fun to read, each essay is written by a leading authority and offers succinct, insightful answers to questions most of us have wondered about. Now in its second edition, updated and expanded, the book will continue to serve as an unrivaled introduction to language and its mysteries.
The second edition of this book was produced under the sponsorship of the Linguistic Society of America and the (U.S.) National Museum of Language.
Published: Apr 1, 2012
“An excellent, very accessible, and extremely easy- and fun-to-read introduction to some of the basic questions (and misconceptions) regarding language, language learning, and linguistics. The book clearly meets the editors’ intended goals; with each essay, the reader is engaged in a five-minute, light and informal conversation about the passionate topic of language.”
“This book is for anyone who has a question about languages or the nature of language—which means just about all of us. But it’s not just a musty academic text for specialists. While written by leading experts on the subject of language, The Five-Minute Linguist is a user-friendly exploration of the basics, a linguistic start-up kit for general readers. It assumes nothing on your part except interest in the subject. Its bite-sized chapters (no more than 3-4 pages each) give authoritative answers to the most frequently asked questions people have about language, and tell the story in a lively and colloquial style. It is a delightful read.”
From the Foreword by Bret Lovejoy, Executive Director, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language
Praise for the first edition:
“What a gift to those who love language and those who are simply curious about it. Leading experts each tackle an intriguing question, and explain it in straightforward, delightful prose. Read it from cover to cover or keep it by your bed to dip into for endless fascination.”
Deborah Tannen, Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University, and author of You Just Don't Understand
“This is a marvelous collection of informative, provocative and stimulating essays. The topics that were selected are both timely, and timeless, and the essays are sure to pique the curiosity of a broad range of readers. The material is accessible and the suggestions for further reading are wonderful pointers to additional exploration. This collection certainly has my five-star recommendation.”
G. Richard Tucker, Paul Mellon University Professor of Applied Linguistics, Carnegie Mellon University
“Book and Web site are excellent supplements for introduction to linguistics courses, recommended for language majors, and attractive to language afficionados and mavens. Essential.”