From: Johanna Rubba <jrubbacalpoly.edu>
Subject: Seeking Undergraduate Book Recommendations
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Hi LINGUIST List subscribers,
Apologies to anyone who gets this twice.
I routinely have my undergraduates in certain classes read linguistics-
related books beyond the course text. My list of choices is getting
What I'm looking for are books that are intended for a general audience
of *non-linguists*. We have no linguistics major at Cal Poly, and most of
my students are taking a linguistics course because it is required. Most
of my students are not as strong readers of linguistics books as
students at R1 institutions. Pinker's "Language Instinct" would be too
hard for most of my undergraduates, for instance. Here are a few of
the titles I list, to give you an idea of level:
- Schane, Sanford. 2006. Language and the Law.
- O'Grady, William. 2005. How Children Learn Language.
- Lakoff, George and Mark Turner. 1989. More Than Cool Reason: A
Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor.
- Wardhaugh, Ronald. 1999. Proper English: Myths and
misunderstandings about language.
- Tannen, Deborah. 1998. The argument culture: Stopping America's
war of words.
- Wolfram, Walt and Natalie Schilling-Estes. 1998. American English:
Dialects and Variation.
- Bailey, Richard. l991. Images of English: A Cultural History of the
- Hughes, Geoffrey. 1989. Words in time: a social history of the
As you can see, the topic range is pretty wide open. I'm especially
interested in a few *current* books on language and the Internet.
Unless the book is timeless or a real classic, the date shouldn't be
before about 2000 (though Internet books should be much more
I'll happily post a summary to the list. Thank you!
Dr. Johanna Rubba, Professor, Linguistics
Linguistics Minor Advisor
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Dept. Ofc. Tel.: 805.756.2596
Dept. Fax: 805.756.6374
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