How Language Works, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In this fascinating survey of everything from how sounds become speech to how names work, David Crystal answers every question you might ever have had about the nuts and bolts of language in his usual highly illuminating way.

Along the way we find out about eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, how parents teach their children to speak, how politeness travels across languages and how the way we talk show not just how old we are but where we're from and even who we want to be.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages, Yes
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Philosophy of language
  • ISBN: 9780141015521

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An excellent overview of the subject - thorough, well-structured and occasionally amusing. Don't expect a great read for the airplane, since it's put together so that each section can be read independently of the others, but it's a very useful reference book.