Scoring the language game

Roy Harris

  • Language and Linguistics: An Introduction by John Lyons
    Cambridge, 356 pp, £15.00, June 1981, ISBN 0 521 23034 9

Language is one of those subjects on which it is almost impossible nowadays to say anything worth saying which is not highly controversial. That is why it takes a brave man like Professor Lyons to attempt a book which, in less than four hundred pages, aims to provide a ‘general introduction to linguistics and the study of language, intended particularly for beginning students and readers with no previous knowledge of or training in the subject’. Thirty years ago, the task would have been comparatively straightforward. Today it is Herculean.

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