This textbook is intended for beginning students of English linguistics, and for their instructors. It is specifically designed to accompany introductory classes to linguistics and does not require any previous knowledge. The text is easily accessible, as it is written in user-friendly English. Moreover, it contains numerous examples and around 150 figures. It goes without saying that a brief introductory textbook cannot and thus should not even attempt to cover all details of a growing and increasingly fragmented discipline like linguistics. This book is meant as a starting point that introduces beginners to the core branches and central concepts of the field, addressing
|•||what linguists are interested in,|| |
|•||how the English language has been evolving,|| |
|•||how we produce and use speech sounds,|| |
|•||how we may form words,|| |
|•||how we may form sentences,|| |
|•||what sounds, words and sentences have to do with meaning,|| |
|•||how language is used in context,|| |
|•||and what language has to do with social factors.|| |
Key terms are highlighted in bold letters, whereas examples are given in italics. The index lists all key terms and the names of the most important authors mentioned in the text. At the end of each chapter, you will find exercises (complete with answers in the appendix) and an annotated bibliography directing you to sources of more detailed information and further reading. The selection of the material is based on our teaching experience. Individual chapters may, for the most part, be read independently of each other, although we suggest that readers follow the order as presented in the book.
We are indebted to our students, colleagues and friends for many inspiring questions, discussions and suggestions. Our special thanks go to Werner Bauer, Anita Fetzer, James Fisk, Marlis Hellinger, Jan Hoffmeister, Gerda Lauerbach, Ursula Lenker, Sylvia Mieszkowski, Carolina Plaza-Pust, Gregory Poarch, Nicola Prendergast, Michael Schiffmann, Britta Schneider, Jule Türke and Christine Vogt-William for their valuable comments on earlier versions of the individual chapters. We would also like to thank our editor Jürgen Freudl for his amazing patience and professional support, and Sibylle Klöcker for her help with compiling the index. All remaining shortcomings of the book are, of course, entirely our own responsibility.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future editions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annette Becker & Markus Bieswanger