Linguistics, Sixth Edition

Linguistics, Sixth Edition

An Introduction to Language and Communication

By Adrian Akmajian, Richard A. Demers, Ann K. Farmer and Robert M. Harnish

A new edition a popular introductory linguistics text, thoroughly updated and revised, with new material and new examples.





A new edition a popular introductory linguistics text, thoroughly updated and revised, with new material and new examples.

This popular introductory linguistics text is unique for its integration of themes. Rather than treat morphology, phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics as completely separate fields, the book shows how they interact. It provides a sound introduction to linguistic methodology while encouraging students to consider why people are intrinsically interested in language—the ultimate puzzle of the human mind.

The text first treats such structural and interpretive parts of language as morphology, phonology, syntax, and semantics, then takes a cognitive perspective and covers such topics as pragmatics, psychology of language, language acquisition, and language and the brain. For this sixth edition, all chapters have been revised. New material includes updated examples, new special topics sections, and new discussions of the minimalist program, semantic minimalism, human genetic relationships and historical relationships among languages, Gricean theories, experimental pragmatics, and language acquisition.

The organization of the book gives instructors flexibility in designing their courses. Chapters have numerous subsections with core material presented first and additional material following as special topics. The accompanying workbook supplements the text with exercises drawn from a variety of languages. The goal is to teach basic conceptual foundations of linguistics and the methods of argumentation, justification, and hypothesis testing within the field. By presenting the most fundamental linguistics concepts in detail, the text allows students to get a feeling for how real work in different areas of linguistics is done.

Instructor Resources

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: instructor's manual


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262013758 648 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 88 b&w illus.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262513708 648 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 88 b&w illus.

Not for sale on the Indian subcontinent.


  • Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication has long served as the yardstick introductory textbook to Linguistics. This new edition continues in that tradition, offering a carefully updated presentation of diverse aspects of the discipline. The text succeeds in being engaging without sacrificing conceptual sophistication or analytic accuracy, it challenges the reader without overwhelming. Its comprehensive coverage of traditional linguistic topics combined with its cognitive science perspective makes this textbook uniquely adaptable for a broad range of courses. It is to my mind the best overall single volume for making state-of-the-art linguistics accessible to the novice student.

    Steven Franks

    Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Chair and Professor of Linguistics, Indiana University

  • The 6th edition of Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication is a wonderful introductory textbook for linguistics. The book is flexible enough to be used in both introductory and more advanced survey courses by including more advanced special topic sections and lengthy reference lists for the interested student. It also combines 'famous' linguistic examples (e.g., Canadian raising) in the presentation of the material and in the exercises with new and clever examples (e.g, 'Cops-ization') to give students a range of linguistic data to consider.

    Susannah Levi

    Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, New York University