How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation
N. J. Enfield (Author)
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DescriptionAn expert guide to how conversation works, from how we know when to speak to why huh is a universal word We all had teachers who scolded us over the use of um, uh-huh, oh, like, and mm-hmm. But as linguist N. J. Enfield reveals in How We Talk, these bad words are fundamental to language.Whether we are speaking with the clerk at the store, our boss, or our spouse, language is dependent on things as commonplace as a rising tone of voice, an apparently meaningless word, or a glance -- signals so small that we hardly pay them any conscious attention. Nevertheless, they are the essence of how we speak. From the traffic signals of speech to the importance of um, How We Talk revolutionizes our understanding of conversation. In the process, Enfield reveals what makes language universally -- and uniquely -- human.
November 14, 2017
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.2 inches | 0.83 pounds
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About the Author
N. J. Enfield is Professor and Chair in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His work on language and human sociality is based on regular field work in mainland Southeast Asia, especially Laos. He has published more than a dozen books and over 100 academic articles. Among his more recent books are Relationship Thinking: Agency, Enchrony, and Human Sociality (2013), Natural Causes of Language (2014), The Utility of Meaning (2015), and The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology (Cambridge, 2014, co-edited with Paul Kockelman and Jack Sidnell).