What makes human language unique? Do women speak differently from men? Just what is the meaning of "meaning"? Language: The Basics provides a concise introduction to the study of language. Written in an engaging and entertaining style, it encourages the reader to think about the way language works. It features: * chapters on 'Language in Use', 'Attitudes to Language', 'Children and Language' and 'Language, Mind and Brain' * a section on sign language * a glossary of key terms * handy annotated guides to further reading. Providing an accessible overview of a fascinating subject, this is an essential book for all students and anyone who's ever been accused of splitting an infinitive.