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In pursuit of linguistic literature

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10 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
karpat
Diglot
Newbie
Poland
Joined 3223 days ago

24 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: Polish*, English
Studies: German, Czech, Latin

 
 Message 1 of 10
22 February 2013 at 4:42pm | IP Logged 
Hello there!

I am curious if there are any books written in a way that would ease me into the field of linguistics? (I'm a beginner) I am particulary interested in phonetics and phonology, though I do not dismiss other areas.

Books illustrating everything in a clear, meaningful way and not very heavy language-wise would be the best.

Edited by karpat on 22 February 2013 at 4:43pm

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Julie
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PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, GermanC2, SpanishB2, Dutch, Swedish, French

 
 Message 2 of 10
22 February 2013 at 7:41pm | IP Logged 
If you don't mind reading in Polish, "Zaproszenie do językoznawstwa" by Ireneusz Bobrowski is supposed to be quite good, if I recall correctly.

Phonetics and phonology: I liked "The Sounds of the World's Languages" by Lagefoged and Maddieson. I don't remember how clear and explanatory the book was, though.

I would also try David Crystal's "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language" and "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language" - relevant topics in short, digestible chapters, with plenty of illustrations, tables, maps etc. and a glossary at the end of the book.

In Polish, I loved "Język polski" by Anna Dąbrowska (published in the series "A to Polska właśnie") - this may be a little on the easy side but it is a very interesting reading.
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Serpent
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Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 3 of 10
22 February 2013 at 8:22pm | IP Logged 
Sorry if that's a bit of hijacking, but I'm reading "L'italiano: lezioni semiserie" and the author highly praises the clarity of Bruno Migliorini's works. Have any Italian speakers here read his "Storia della lingua Italiana" and would you recommend it?
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Hampie
Diglot
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Sweden
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 Message 4 of 10
22 February 2013 at 10:10pm | IP Logged 
The Language Construction Kit is very fun, it also has a sequel called Advanced Language Construction.
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karpat
Diglot
Newbie
Poland
Joined 3223 days ago

24 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: Polish*, English
Studies: German, Czech, Latin

 
 Message 5 of 10
22 February 2013 at 10:13pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, Julie! I don't mind reading in Polish at all, it's a language like all the others :D
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Julie
Heptaglot
Senior Member
PolandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5811 days ago

1251 posts - 1733 votes 
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Speaks: Polish*, EnglishB2, GermanC2, SpanishB2, Dutch, Swedish, French

 
 Message 6 of 10
22 February 2013 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
karpat wrote:
Thank you, Julie! I don't mind reading in Polish at all, it's a language like all the others :D


You're welcome! If you're interested in Polish phonetics textbooks, look for those written by Wierzchowska ("Wymowa polska" and two others with 'phonetics' and 'Polish' in the title; I used the former one but they're supposed to be very similar in terms of the content). They're old (1970s/1980s) but pretty good and comprehensive.

Furthermore, definitely look for "Wieża Babel" by Witold Mańczak. It's a tiny inconspicous book but quite mind-boggling. Mańczak's ideas are often quite controversial and many linguists may not agree with him but it's definitely a good read.

Wierzchowska and Bobrowski (I can't remember with all certainty if his book was any good, though) should be pretty easy to find in the library; Mańczak will probably be available as well.

Dąbrowska's book is probably more of popular science but it includes so much interesting information about the Polish language that it's definitely worth reading.

Edited by Julie on 22 February 2013 at 11:34pm

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viedums
Hexaglot
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Thailand
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Speaks: Latvian, English*, German, Mandarin, Thai, French
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 Message 7 of 10
23 February 2013 at 2:41am | IP Logged 
The first volume of Robert Dixon’s Basic Linguistic Theory is worth reading. The author has a lot of experience in field linguistics and typology, i.e. language comparison. The ‘theory’ involved is basic in the sense that he does as little theorizing as possible. Instead, he tries to create a framework for language description that captures differences and commonalities in languages from around the world. Volume Two is also very useful, but more advanced.
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MixedUpCody
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United States
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 Message 8 of 10
23 February 2013 at 3:59am | IP Logged 
Karpat,

Hey, I'm glad to hear you're thinking about linguistics. It is a very interesting field. If you want an actual text book: I would recommend An Introduction to Language (buy it used to avoid the steep price), for phonetics: A Course in Phonetics, and for phonology: Introductory Phonology.

I must admit that I am not a big phonetics/phonology fan, but those text books are well regarded in (American) linguistics. The "Introduction to Language" text book is one of my all time favorite textbooks, and I really can't say enough about it. Now, if you want something that is not an actual textbook, but still very good: I recommend The Atoms of Language, or The Language Instinct.

Also, if you're interested in exploring other areas, my research interests are Historical Linguistics and Psycholinguistics.

Best of luck to you in your studies, and message me if you have any questions. I could talk about linguistics all day!

Cody


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