Linguistics For Dummies
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The problems posed by linguistics can make you notice really cool things about language. You’ve probably asked yourself these questions without even realizing that they’re linguistic questions.

  • Why is learning a second language so difficult?

  • Why do French and English have so many words in common?

  • Why do dialects exist?

  • Why can’t all the sentences of a language be listed?

  • Why doesn’t everyone speak the same language?

  • Why is it possible to translate from one language to another?

  • Why do some conversations get off-track?

  • Why is it harder to understand someone when you talk on the phone?

  • Why isn’t sign language just a matter of making pictures with your hands?

  • Why are some speech sounds more difficult to produce and perceive than others?

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Strang Burton is a linguist with the Stolo nation and has taught linguistics at a number of universities. Rose-Marie Déchaine and Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson are professors of linguistics at the University of British Columbia.

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