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Palgrave Macmillan

Word of Mouth

A New Introduction to Language and Communication

Edition 2nd edition
ISBN 9780230276840
Publication Date June 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The study of language has evolved dramatically over the last thirty years. We know more about language use and development than ever before. But many of these new ideas can challenge our notions of identity and our sense of uniqueness. Word of Mouth introduces these ideas and explores the power of words to shape and influence our lives.

The book starts with a discussion of the evolution of language and then goes on to examine major areas in the field of language study: communication, media, social function, grammatical structure and psychology. Each chapter begins by considering our everyday encounter with language and then develops a view of the subject which fits with our experience as inhabitants of the 21st century. This fully revised and updated edition contains new material throughout, including more discussion of the possible origins of language, the impact of digital media and the study of politeness. With a fresh, engaging and jargon-free approach to the subject, the book is an enjoyable and intellectually exciting exploration of language.

This new edition of Word of Mouth is the ideal introductory guide to language for both general readers and students.

Geoffrey Finch is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University, UK, where he teaches and writes on English Language. He is the author of How to Study Linguistics and Key Concepts in Language and Linguistics, as well as a contributing author to The English Language and Linguistics Companion, all published by Palgrave Macmillan.

1. Preface
2. The Talking Animal: The Origin of Language
3. Getting the Better of Words: Language and Communication
4. Virtual Words: Language and Media
5. We Are What We Speak: Language and Society
6. The Finite Instrument: The Design and Structure of Language
7. The Parent of Language: Language and Mind
8. Conclusion: The House of Being
Bibliography
Index

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