"Wherever you are and whatever you do, language makes a dirierence!"
- The Five-Minute Linguist
The 5 Minute Linguist
Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages
"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 at Georgetown University,
and author of You Just Don't Understand
"This is a marvelous collection of informative, provocative and stimulating essays. The topics 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 has my five-star recommendation."
G. Richard Tucker, Paul Mellon University Professor of
Applied Linguistics, Carnegie Mellon University
The Five Minute Linguist offers highly readable answers to questions all of us have asked about language. It consists of sixty bite-sized chapters (none longer than five pages) in which leading language professionals address intriguing questions such as:
|•||How many languages are there in the world?|| |
|•||What language did Adam and Eve speak?|| |
|•||How do babies learn their mother tongue?|| |
|•||Why do languages change?|| |
|•||Are dialects dying?|| |
|•||How good is machine translation?|| |
|•||Can monolingualism be cured?|| |
The light, conversational tone of this collection, combined with each chapter's thoughtful suggestions for follow-up reading, result in a fresh approach to making knowledge about language accessible to non-specialists. It is ideal for interested general readers and students of all ages.
The Five Minute Linguist is based on the popular radio series, Talkin' About Talk, which was broadcast on public and college radio stations and nominated for the Linguistic Society of America's prestigious Linguistics, Language and the Public Award for 2006.
E.M. Rickerson is Director, Emeritus, of the language program at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. Barry Hilton is a freelance writer and independent scholar based in Maine.