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An Introduction to Linguistics and Language Studies

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The second edition of this popular textbook provides readers with a foundation in methods for analysing and understanding language from various theoretical perspectives within linguistics and language studies. Its novel approach introduces systemic functional linguistics, text and discourse analysis, and formal approaches to linguistics. It demonstrates applications of these approaches to reveal how we use language in society, how our brains process language, and how we learn language.

The main language focused on is English, while other languages are also drawn on to illustrate the principles, models and theories. Learning outcomes, exercises (with answer key), ideas for project work, and questions for reflection are provided throughout. A final chapter gathers explanations of various fields of practice within linguistics, written by linguists from around the world.

The second edition includes added explanations, examples and exercises, updated references and web links and an expanded number of entries in the glossary. It also provides a new configuration of the material related to syntax and lexico-grammar, giving readers the opportunity to see more clearly the contrasts between formal and functional analyses and to understand the differences in these views of language, leading to a stronger grasp of how language ‘works’ within the brain and within society. It includes new material on analysing texts for interpersonal and evaluative meanings, and on analysing multimodal texts for meaning provided from combinations of verbal language and visual modes, providing an increased range of text and discourse analytical tools.

Published: Feb 1, 2017

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Acknowledgements Anne McCabe
Chapter 1
An Introduction to Linguistics and Language Studies Anne McCabe
Chapter 2
Analysing the Spoken Language Anne McCabe
Chapter 3
Words and their Meanings: Morphology and Semantics Anne McCabe
Chapter 4
Syntax and Lexicogrammar Anne McCabe
Chapter 5
Analysing Text and Discourse Anne McCabe
Chapter 6
Language Change Anne McCabe
Chapter 7
Language Variation Anne McCabe
Chapter 8
Language, Biology and Learning Anne McCabe
Chapter 9
Fields of Linguistics Anne McCabe
End Matter
Glossary Anne McCabe
Index of Names Anne McCabe
Subject Index Anne McCabe


Reviews of the first edition:
This innovative blend of textbook, workbook, and anthology is a welcome addition to the introductory linguistics literature.
David Crystal, Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor

Anne McCabe presents an enormously appealing, accessible, and up to date treatment of the field to those who always wanted to know what it was all about — but, perhaps, were afraid to ask!
Heidi Byrnes, George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German, Georgetown University

McCabe provides novices to the linguistics community with a well-written and highly interactive text that allows readers with various levels of pre-existing knowledge to explore both the theoretical and practical applications of linguistics and language studies across many topics.