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The five-minute linguist : bite-sized essays on language and languages

Author: E M Rickerson; Barry Hilton
Publisher: London ; Oakville, CT : Equinox Pub., 2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Language is a vital part of everybodys life, and nearly everybody is interested in knowing more about it. Its all too easy for people to lose interest, though, when the answers to their questions turn out to be long and technically challenging. The Five-Minute Linguist: Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages takes a new approach to making accurate and up-to-date knowledge about language accessible in a  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Essays
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Five-minute linguist.
London ; Oakville, CT : Equinox Pub., 2006
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: E M Rickerson; Barry Hilton
ISBN: 184553199X 9781845531997
OCLC Number: 70292031
Description: xiii, 273 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: Foreword --
Introduction --
1. Why learn about language? / Robert Rodman --
2. How many languages are there in the world? / M. Paul Lewis --
3. What's the difference between dialects and languages? / G. Tucker Childs --
4. What was the original language? / Barry Hilton --
5. Do all languages come from the same source? / Allan R. Bomhard --
6. What language did Adam and Eve speak? / E.M. Rickerson --
7. Why do languages change? / John McWhorter --
8. Are pidgins and creoles real languages? / John M. Lipski --
9. How many kinds of writing systems are there? / Peter T. Daniels --
10. Where did writing come from? / Peter T. Daniels --
11. Where does grammar come from? / Joan Bybee --
12. Do all languages have the same grammar? / Mark C. Baker --
13. How do babies learn their mother tongue? / Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek --
14. Do animals use language? / Donna Jo Napoli --
15. How does the brain cope with multiple languages? / Henk Haarmann --
16. Does our language influence the way we think? / Geoffrey K. Pullum --
17. What's the right way to put words together? / Dennis R. Preston. 18. Is British English the best English? / Orin Hargraves --
19. Why do people fight over language? / Paul B. Garrett --
20. What does it mean to be bilingual? / Dora Johnson --
21. What is 'speaking in tongues'? / Walt Wolfram --
22. What happens if you are raised without language? / Susan Curtiss --
23. Do deaf people everywhere use the same sign language? / Susan Curtiss --
24. Why do languages die? / Christopher Moseley --
25. Can a threatened language be saved? / Akira Y. Yamamotot et al. --
26. Why do American Southerners talk that way? / Walt Wolfram --
27. What causes foreign accents? / Steven H. Weinberger --
28. How are the sounds of language made? / Peter Ladefoged --
29. Can monolingualism be cured? / Katherine Sprang --
30. What does it take to learn a language well? / Nina Garrett --
31. How has our thinking about language learning changed through the years? / June K. Phillips --
32. Why study languages abroad? / Sheri Spaine Long --
33. Is elementary school too early to teach foreign languages? / Gladys Lipton --
34. Can computers teach languages faster and better? / Frank Borchardt. 35. What's the language of the United States? / David Goldberg --
36. Is there a language crisis in the United States? / David Goldberg --
37. Is Spanish taking over the United States? / Maria Carreira --
38. What is Cajun and where did it come from? / Robyn Holman --
39. Did German almost become the language of the U.S.? / Nancy P. Nenno --
40. What's Gullah? / Elizabeth Martínez-Gibson --
41. Are dialects dying? / Walt Wolfram --
42. Can you make a living loving languages? / Frederick H. Jackson --
43. How are dictionaries made? / Erin McKean --
44. Why do we need translators if we have dictionaries? / Kevin Hendzel --
45. How good is machine translation? / David Savignac --
46. Can you use language to solve crimes? / Robert Rodman --
47. How can you keep languages in a museum? / Amelia C. Murdoch --
48. Where did English come from? / John Algeo --
49. How many Native American languages are there? / Marianne Mithun. 50. Is Latin really dead? / Frank Morris --
51. Who speaks Italian? / Dennis Looney --
52. How different are Spanish and Portuguese? / Ana Maria Carvalho --
53. Should we be studying Russian? / Benjamin Rifkin --
54. What's exciting about Icelandic? / Pardee Lowe Jr. --
55. Do all Arabs speak the same language? / Jerry Lampe --
56. Is Swahili the language of Africa? / Donald Osborn --
57. Do you have to be a masochist to study Chinese? / Barry Hilton --
58. Is studying Japanese worth the effort? / Blaine Erickson --
59. Whatever happened to Esperanto? / E.M. Rickerson --
60. Does anybody here speak Klingon? / Christopher Moseley --
Scripts and audio files for Talkin' About Talk --
Other Titles: 5 minute linguist
Responsibility: edited by E.M. Rickerson and Barry Hilton.


Consists of 60 short chapters adapted from the weekly scripts of a popular US public radio series on language. This work address popular questions like "How many languages are there in the world?"  Read more...
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Editorial reviews

Publisher Synopsis

'This is a marvelous collection of informative, provocative and stimulating essays. It's exactly the type of book that I can imagine, on the one hand, recommending to a friend who wonders just what Read more...

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WorldCat User Reviews (1)

audio supplement

by Molly Ewing (WorldCat user published 2009-09-09) Very Good Permalink

College of Charleston produced a series of radio spots with the same title back in 2005.  You can listen on the college's Archive of Languages website at ...
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