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After Excavating English - Linguistics related


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The problem with linguistics is that it just isn't very accessible to the non-linguist. My 9 yr old is doing Excavating English now and she loves it... Eventually we might delve deeper. Here are some possibilities:


Stephen Pinker ("The Language Instinct" and "Words and Rules") does a good job of writing to a general audience. I'd start there. He mainly deals with syntax-semantics and acquisition.


John McWhorter ("The Power of Babel") does easy-to-understand historical linguistics.


"The Language Files" are materials for intro undergrad course in linguistics. They'd be my first choice for a high school level course. http://www.amazon.com/Language-Files-Materials-Introduction-Linguistics/dp/0814251633/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320817629&sr=1-1


"Semantics: A coursebook" is a *really* basic semantics workbook that would probably be appropriate for a high schooler. http://www.amazon.com/Semantics-Coursebook-James-R-Hurford/dp/0521671876/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320817610&sr=1-1


If I were teaching Syntax (generative) , I'd go for one of Carnie's books... like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Syntax-Generative-Introduction-Introducing-Linguistics/dp/1405133848/ref=pd_sim_b_2 or maybe... http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Syntax-Coursebook-Andrew-Carnie/dp/052186335X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320817473&sr=1-2


I can't think of anything particularly easy for phonetics or phonology or morphology... But there's surely a lot out there for sociolinguistics that is pretty easy to read.

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If he's interested in phonetics or phonology, start him with something like Ladefoged's "Vowels and Consonants". I think it wouldn't be too hard at all.


Also, play around with an IPA chart like this one where you can click on the sounds and hear them http://www.phonetics.ucla.edu/course/chapter1/chapter1.html


I've let my kids fool around with Praat which is a free download to record and analyze spectrograms. PM me if you want more ideas about what a kid can do with Praat.

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