books about language wot i really ought to read


1.      The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker


…as well as his other books…


2.      The Stuff of Thought:: Language as a Window into Human Nature


3.      The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature


…And then there’s David Crystal…


4.      The English Language: A Guided Tour of the Language


5.      Listen to Your Child: A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Language


6.      The Stories of English


7.      Making Sense of Grammar


…and a little bit lighter…


8.      Mother Tongue: The English Language by Bill Bryson


…and did I mention David Crystal?


            …oh, and one more Pinker book – have you ever thought about irregular verbs? Really thought about them? I think this could be the book that would lead to a very interesting conversation with an admissions tutor. But it’s a bit of a slog (though worth while)…

9.      Words and Rules by Steven Pinker

…and to make it an even 10…

10.  The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher – for a wider perspective on what language is really all about

4 thoughts on “books about language wot i really ought to read

  1. David Crystal, is without a doubt, a genius. Have you read “Words Words Words”? Besides the content, his writing style is superb, as it doesn’t focus on isolating the common reader with an elitist persona. Crystal manages the perfect tone in order to share with the reader the love for words, and is great just for general interest. I would definitely recommend it.

  2. could I also make a mention of Rosseau’s orogin of language? its great to get just a bit of historical philosophy in when looking over the history of language. they verry old stuff, before writing and how current evidence contributes to his conclusions!

  3. Have you read ‘The myth of Mars & Venus’ by Deborah Cameron. If so what would be your thoughts on it. Great blog btw, really helps me with my wider reading!

    • D Cameron’s writing on language is excellent – the myth really does put to bed a lot of the psychobabble out there centred on language

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