The Five-Minute Linguist: Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages takes a new approach to making accurate and up-to-date knowledge about language accessible in a non-academic way. It consists of some 55-60 chapters, each about 700 words long, adapted from the weekly scripts of a popular NPR series on language. The scripts, contributed by a cross-section of leading professional linguists in America and abroad, address questions like "How many languages are there in the world?" "Should we teach languages in elementary school?" and "How good is machine translation?" They are written with a light touch that has been highly successful in reaching an audience of intelligent non-specialists. The book will preserve that light touch while adding such features as an index (to help readers connect topics touched on in more than one chapter) and suggestions for follow-up reading.
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E. M. Rickerson has a Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley and is Director Emeritus of the award-winning language program at the College of Charleston (S.C.). Formerly a language program director in the U.S. government, he now consults on the development and improvement of language programs at the university level. In 2005 Dr. Rickerson created a radio series on languages ("Talkin' About Talk"), which was broadcast on public and college radio stations -- and on which The 5 Minute Linguist was based. Barry Hilton is a freelance writer/editor and independent scholar living in Maine. He was a member of the editorial board that reviewed the radio scripts on which The 5 Minute Linguist was based. He has travelled and lived in both Europe and Asia, making professional use of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, French, and German in a variety of jobs. He describes himself as an "armchair philologist and recovering polyglot."Review:
'This is a marvelous collection of informative, provocative and stimulating essays. This collection certainly has my five-star recommendation.' -- G. Richard Tucker, Paul Mellon University Professor of Applied Linguistics, Carnegie Mellon University
'This is a marvelous collection of informative, provocative and stimulating essays. [It]certainly has my five-star recommendation.' -- G. Richard Tucker, Paul Mellon University Professor of Applied Linguistics, Carnegie Mellon University
'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
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