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Language is a complex and ever-evolving phenomenon, but it is one that deeply defines us all. So, What Is This Thing Called Language? Illustrating how it is used in different ways and in varied contexts, this book offers a thought-provoking and entertaining guide through the mysteries of language. The new edition: - Explores the basics of the language systems of sounds, vocabulary and grammar - Explains a basic framework of linguistics and language analysis Examines the written and spoken word in a range of different languages - Uses intriguing anecdotes and interesting examples to unpack complex ideas - Offers study-friendly features, including reflective questions, further reading suggestions as well as glossaries of linguistic terminology and key linguists With new and expanded material on a range of topics, from language variation and culture to second language acquisition and bilingualism, this is an 'un-put-down-able' introduction for all students of language and linguistics.