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  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: May 2018

Preface

Summary

Exploring Language and Linguistics is designed to meet the needs of undergraduate students approaching linguistics for the first time. As teachers of first-year linguistics courses ourselves, we have always welcomed students from a range of academic backgrounds. The key challenge for instructors on introductory-level linguistics/English language modules is to introduce a wide range of topics, approaches and concepts in an accessible manner to students with little or no prior experience of studying language. Meanwhile, the key challenge for students lies in their ability to understand and then apply their learning to real-world settings. Our volume seeks to address these challenges with writing which is concise, accessible and richly illustrated with examples. We make no assumptions about prior experience with grammar or with learning foreign languages. In this book, we aim to provide readers with a thorough grounding in the terminology and techniques of linguistic description, as well as taking them forward into more specialist fields in the subject.

Linguistics is a developing subject, and new areas of enquiry are opening up. This book features chapters on language and ideology, media discourse, including a discussion of the language of computer-mediated discourse in social media, and clinical linguistics. Such wide but detailed coverage of developing areas makes this book stand out from other textbooks in linguistics.

The textbook is aimed at readers who are likely to be first-year undergraduates taking their first course in linguistics. Our students have told us that what excites them about the subject are the many applications to real-world problems. Each of these chapters is written by an expert in the field and will contain introductory as well as more challenging material. The first eight chapters introduce readers to the different levels of linguistic analysis: sound (phonetics and phonology), grammar (morphology, grammar, syntax), meaning (semantics and pragmatics) and structure beyond the sentence (discourse analysis). These chapters will all be preparatory reading for approaching the subsequent chapters, as students will be required to bring this body of knowledge to the study of applications of linguistics. The order in which the chapters are presented suggests the order of reading, but they may be read in any order.