Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction
by P.H. Matthews
Published in June 2003
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
I’ve been reading about linguistics because I’m in the process of re-learning Chinese.
This book wasn’t detailed or technical enough, and I don’t really feel like I have learned that much. Most of what the authors write about was very intuitive and I already knew. “Languages are very different, and can’t be directly translated.” “Languages evolved from one another like species.”
These are insights that only people who are monolingual need - anyone who is trilingual and has any knowledge of history whatsoever already knows this.
The book was simple and well written, and I imagine it might be useful for schoolchildren maybe in the 6th or 7th grade - especially if they only know one language and are about to learn another.
Overall I don’t recommend this book as an introduction into linguistics, although it wasn’t by any means a bad read.
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