A Little Book of Language

  • by David Crystal
  • Narrated by Derek Perkins
  • 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With a language disappearing every two weeks and neologisms springing up almost daily, an understanding of the origins and currency of language has never seemed more relevant. In this charming volume, a narrative history written explicitly for a young audience, expert linguist David Crystal proves why the story of language deserves retelling.
From the first words of an infant to the peculiar modern dialect of text messaging, A Little Book of Language ranges widely, revealing language's myriad intricacies and quirks. In animated fashion, Crystal sheds light on the development of unique linguistic styles, the origins of obscure accents, and the search for the first written word. He discusses the plight of endangered languages, as well as successful cases of linguistic revitalization. Much more than a history, Crystal's work looks forward to the future of language, exploring the effect of technology on our day-to-day reading, writing, and speech. Through enlightening tables, diagrams, and quizzes, as well as Crystal's avuncular and entertaining style, A Little Book of Language will reveal the story of language to be a captivating tale for all ages.

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What the Critics Say

"Demotic, lively, rigorous but unabashedly unpedantic, David Crystal reminds us that living languages know no boundaries, that they adapt themselves joyously to new conditions. Here he indulges himself with great good humour in his little book of love for the pleasures of language and words worldwide." (Iain Finlayson, The Times)
"[An] exhilarating romp through the mysteries and vagaries of language.... This is the perfect primer for anyone interested in the subject." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A must read!

I received a paperback copy of this book and forgot it by a friend. It was so engaging I purchased it on audible to continue reading. The author is not only knowledgeable but humorous and the book is organized in a most readable (listenable) way.
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- Fruta Fresca "Lisa Ev"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-09-2012
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks