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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Seven Ways of Looking at Language

ISBN 9780230279308
Publication Date January 2011
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

From the publication of Noam Chomsky's revolutionary Syntactic Structures in 1957, to the counter-revolutions that followed, linguistics has seen many fashions over the years. With new ideas and discoveries constantly challenging the ways we look at language, Ronald Macaulay provides a brief and lively introduction to some of the different approaches linguists have taken to the study of language in all its complexity.

Considering language as Meaning, Sound, Form, Communication, Identity, History and Symbol, Macaulay examines the main issues, debates and ideas that have emerged in language study over the last fifty years.

Designed for the intending student, as well as the non-specialist general reader with an interest in language, Seven Ways of Looking at Language concisely conveys a review of exciting work in the core areas of linguistics, including phonetics, syntax, semantics, language interaction, language variation, language change and the significance of writing. A helpful glossary, as well as detailed suggestions for further reading, makes this the ideal starting point for anyone wishing to learn about the study of language.

RONALD K. S. MACAULAY is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Pitzer College, USA. He is the author of Language, Social Class and Education (1997), Generally Speaking (1980), Locating Dialect in Discourse (1991), Standards and Variation in Urban Speech (1997), Talk that Counts: Age, Gender, and Social Class Differences in Discourse (2005), The Social Art (2006) Quantitative Methods in Sociolinguistics (2009).

Language as Meaning
Language as Sound
Language as Form
Language as Communication
Language as Identity
Language as History
Language as Symbol


Macaulay's book captures the excitement and importance of some of the more interesting debates and controversies in linguistics during the past 50 years. Providing clear and concise surveys, it has appeal for the non-specialist reader who is looking for an introduction to the basics, along with excellent suggestions for further reading.' - Professor Kathleen Doty, Humboldt State University, California
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