dragon

Trip of the Tongue, Cross-country Travels In Search of America’s Languages

Trip of the Tongue, Cross-country Travels In Search of America’s Languages; Elizabeth Little; Bloomsbury, 2012   Little is an obvious fan of language study. This book traces her search for languages (in the US) that are disappearing or at least are in danger, in the face of the predominance of English. It isn’t an academic study and it isn’t as broad-based as the title might suggest, however it is an

Words and Rules

Words and Rules; The Ingredients of Language; Stephen Pinker, Basic Books 1999   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   The subject of this book is regular and irregular verbs. Everyone leans their native language in roughly the same way; lots of words and concepts assembled together following patterns and rules. People don’t just “blurt out words but rather combine them into phrases and sentences. So, what’s the issue with the verbs?