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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Stories of Linguistics

An Introduction to Language Study Past and Present

ISBN 9781137000675
Publication Date October 2016
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

What is the nature of human language? How did it originate? How are different languages connected?

Exploring over two thousand years of human enquiry, The Stories of Linguistics is an accessible introduction to the individuals, ideas and events that have shaped the field of linguistics. From Herodotus to Chomsky, and from philosophy to neuroscience, Kim Ballard presents a fascinating narrative that brings to life a dynamic subject with a rich history.

The Stories of Linguistics:
• uses a thematic rather than a traditional chronological approach to explore the complex development of Western linguistics
• offers an accessible introduction to a field of linguistics which is attracting more and more interest
• guides readers seamlessly through linguistic history, supported by timelines and suggestions for further reading and research

With its broad scope and conversational style, The Stories of Linguistics is an ideal introductory text for students at every level, as well as anyone else with an interest in the history and development of language.

KIM BALLARD is the former Head of English at Esher Sixth Form College as well as former Chief Examiner for Edexcel A Level English language. She is the author of The Frameworks of English(2001, 2007) for Palgrave and Interpreting Texts(2005) in the Routledge A Level English Guides series.

Finding Your Way Around This Book
Timeline of Some Key Events in the History of Linguistics
1. Introduction
2. The Nature of Language
3. The Emergence of Language
4. Language Diversity
5. Language Variation
6. The Structure of Language
7. The Construction of Meaning
8. The Linguistic Brain
9. Language Acquisition
10. The Continuing Story
Phonetic Symbols
Life Dates of Thinkers and Researchers
References and Sources
Journals and Societies.


This book presents the key issues in linguistic thought in a series of engaging and very readable narratives. The range and historical scope of the book are impressive, but a useful 'cast of characters' at the start of each chapter helps the reader keep track of who said what about language, and when they said it'. – Professor Siobhan Chapman, University of Liverpool, UK
'This is a really exciting book that will inspire the next generation of linguists. It manages to introduce the great movers and shakers of the field, so that readers can use it as a starting-point for their future investigations of the field of linguistics. This is a book that is written out of sheer enthusiasm and it is infectious!' – Professor Lesley Jeffries, University of Huddersfield, UK'
This is a very clearly and interestingly written introduction to the subject. As well as being interesting in its own right, a historical perspective on how people have thought about language is a very accessible and useful way of looking at the whole topic – including all the important issues that still puzzle us today.' – Dr Doug Arnold, University of Essex, UK
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