A History of Linguistic Aggravation
Hardcover ISBN: 0399165576
The editor and dictionary collector behind Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages offers an entertaining look at the words and phrases commonly used in modern English that were originally considered wrong, slang or impolite.
Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things
What Categories Reveal About the Mind
Paperback ISBN: 0226468046
Focusing on studies of how humans categorize objects and ideas, this book examines the new understanding of human thought which proposes that human reason is imaginative, metaphorical, and intrinsically linked with the human body
The Invention of Athens
The Funeral Oration in the Classical City
Paperback ISBN: 1890951595
Traces the different rhetoric, politics, and ideology of funeral orations - epitaphioi - from Thucidydes, Gorgias, Lysias, and Demosthenes to Plato. Arguing that the ceremony of public burial began circa 508-460 BCE, this title demonstrates that the institution of the funeral oration developed under Athenian democracy.
The People's Poetry
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0195314638
Slang, writes Michael Adams, is poetry on the down low, and sometimes lowdown poetry on the down low, but rarely, if ever, merely lowdown. It is the poetry of everyday speech, the people's poetry, and it deserves attention as language playing on the cusp of art. In Slang: The People's Poetry, Adams covers this perennially interesting subject in a serious but highly engaging way, illuminating the fundamental question "What is Slang" and defending slang--and all forms of nonstandard English--as integral parts of the American language. Why is an expression like "bed head" lost in a lexical limbo, found neither in slang nor standard dictionaries? Why are snow-boarding terms such as "fakie," "goofy foot," "ollie" and "nollie" not considered slang? As he addresses these and other lexical curiosities, Adams reveals that slang is used in part to define groups, distinguishing those who are "down with it" from those who are "out of it." Slang is also a rebellion against the mainstream. It often irritates those who color within the lines--indeed, slang is meant to irritate, sometimes even to shock. But slang is also inventive language, both fun to make and fun to use. Rather than complain about slang as "bad" language, Adams urges us to celebrate slang's playful resistance to the commonplace and to see it as the expression of an innate human capacity, not only for language, but for poetry. A passionate defense of slang, jargon, argot and other forms of nonstandard English, this marvelous volume is full of amusing and even astonishing examples of all sorts of slang. It will be a must for students of language and a joy for word lovers everywhere.
The Minimalist Program
Paperback ISBN: 0262531283
The Minimalist Program consists of four recent essays that attempt to situate linguistic theory in the broader cognitive sciences. In these essays the minimalist approach to linguistic theory is formulated and progressively developed. Building on the theory of principles and parameters and, in particular, on principles of economy of derivation and representation, the minimalist framework takes Universal Grammar as providing a unique computational system, with derivations driven by morphological properties, to which the syntactic variation of languages is also restricted. Within this theoretical framework, linguistic expressions are generated by optimally efficient derivations that must satisfy the conditions that hold on interface levels, the only levels of linguistic representation. The interface levels provide instructions to two types of performance systems, articulatory-perceptual and conceptual- intentional. All syntactic conditions, then, express properties of these interface levels, reflecting the interpretive requirements of language and keeping to very restricted conceptual resources. The Essays Principles and Parameters Theory. Some Notes on Economy of Derivation and Representation. A Minimalist Program for Linguistic Theory. Categories and Transformations in a Minimalist Framework.
Made in America
An Informal History of the English Language in the United States
Hardcover ISBN: 068810312x
The author of Mother Tongue offers an affectionate and informative look at the origins of American English, including why strippers' apparel is called a G-string and what--or who--is the real McCoy. 75,000 first printing. $75,000 ad/promo. Tour.
Mysteries of the Alphabet
The Origins of Writing
Paperback ISBN: 0789205211
The author is a professor (comparative literature), a poet, the author of fiction and non-fiction, and a rabbi, and is affiliated with the Aleph Center for Jewish Studies in Paris and the Bar-Ilan U. in Tel Aviv. This work, translated from the French (1999, Editions Assoudine, Paris) is a charming, visually delightful, information packed exploration of letters, words, and meanings. In particular, it tells how proto-Sinaitic pictograms derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics and discovered in the Sinai at the beginning of the 20th century evolved through the millennia and left their traces on our alphabet. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Language Instinct
How the Mind Creates Language
Paperback ISBN: 0061336467
In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.