The Story of Language Author:Mario Pei Do you think of language merely as what is spoken or written? A traffic light conveys meaning as clearly as words, and to more people. — This is a book about language - that most wonderful tool of civilization. It is designed to give the general reader the basic information about language without which he may hardly be called educated, and it doe... more »s this lucidly and entertainingly.
The book is divided into six sections, each dealing with an aspect of language necessary to the understanding of the whole. First is a historical summary of the development of language form the dawn of history to the present. The next step is to examine the structure of language, how it is formed and change, and the thing itself - sound, word, grammatical form and sentence.
An analysis of the social function of language follows, pointing up the indispensable importance of language to human activities - its importance, in other words, to the daily life of all of us. This is followed by a survey of modern spoken languages; the difficulties of the language-learning process and how they can be minimized; and finally the problem of an international language.
Mario Pei brings to this important and fascinating work a unique combination of erudition and the human approach which makes it an exciting intellectual adventure, full of interest for anyone who uses language - which is all of us.« less