'This is a marvelous collection of informative, provocative and stimulating essays. It's exactly the type of book that I can imagine, on the one hand, recommending to a friend who wonders just what it is that I spend so much of my time thinking about or, on the other hand, assigning as one of the required texts in a general education survey course in the humanities. 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 '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 UnderstandVom Verlag:
Language is a vital part of everybody's life, and nearly everybody is interested in knowing more about it. It's all too easy for people to lose interest, though, when the answers to their questions turn out to be long and technically challenging. "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 60 short chapters adapted from the weekly scripts of a popular U.S. public radio series on language. The scripts, contributed by a cross-section of leading professional linguists in America and abroad, address popular questions like "How many languages are there in the world?" "Is elementary school too early to teach foreign languages?" 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 preserves 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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