New Books Network

Neil Smith, et al., “The Signs of a Savant: Language Against the Odds” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
“Every once in a while Nature gives us insight into the human condition by providing us with a unique case whose special properties illumine the species as a whole. Christopher is such an example.” Christopher has a startling talent for language learning, thrown into sharper relief by his concurrent disabilities.... Read More
Peter Ludlow, “The Philosophy of Generative Linguistics” (Oxford UP, 2011)
The human capacity for language is always cited as the or one of the cognitive capacities we have that separates us from non-human animals. And linguistics, at its most basic level, is the study of language as such – in the primary and usual case, how we manage the pairing... Read More
Ron Christie, “Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur” (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010)
In his new bookActing White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), former White House aide Ron Christie recounts the history of the pejorative term “acting white.” He traces its lineage from the present day through the Black Power movement back to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, unraveling... Read More
Adam Hodges, “The ‘War on Terror’ Narrative” (Oxford UP, 2011)
Many entries in our lexicon have an interesting history, but it’s very seldom the case that the currency of a phrase has global repercussions. In his book The ‘War on Terror’ Narrative (Oxford University Press, 2011), Adam Hodges makes a compelling case that the expression “War on Terror” became part... Read More
David Crystal, “Just a Phrase I’m Going Through: My Life in Language” (Routledge, 2009)
In an enormously prolific writing and editing career, David Crystal has excelled in supplying volumes hitherto missing from the field: here a balanced and accessible introduction to general linguistics, there a lucid specialised textbook in an emerging field. With this memoir, Just a Phrase I’m Going Through: My Life in... Read More
Robert Lane Greene, “You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws and the Politics of Identity” (Delacorte Press, 2011)
Isn’t it odd how the golden age of correct language always seems to be around the time that its speaker was in high school, and that language has been going to the dogs ever since? Such is the anguish of declinists the world over, pushing the commercial success of language-bashing... Read More