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A comprehensive guide to the nature of language and an introduction to linguistic analysis. This is a brand new edition of "An Introduction to the Nature and Functions of Language", the bestselling English Language textbook. With comprehensive coverage of the nature of language and linguistic analysis, this book is perfect for those studying language for the first time. Topics covered include discourse analysis, language acquisition, language change, and the history of English, together with examinations of different modes of discourse as well as the components of language itself. The book features chapter summaries, study questions, and case studies alongside suggestions for project work and extended study. The understanding of the topics is aided by a glossary of terms and a bibliography. There is also a Companion Website with student and lecturer resources. Originally published in 1996, and now fully revised, this core text has been used by thousands of students studying English Language. It is an accessible and engaging guide to the basics of language and linguistics for students on A and AS-level courses as well as being perfect those on their first year at undergraduate level on Language or Linguistics courses.