The Study of Language by George Yule: Study Notes

Author: George Yule

Pages: 334

ISBN: 1107658179 (5th Ed.)

1st Edition: Cambridge University Press, 1985

5th Edition: Cambridge University Press, March 10th, 2014

This was required reading when I’d enrolled in university five years ago for my English certificate. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the program. That said, I would like to continue working this from cover to cover which would benefit me in the event I decide to resume my studies there. Of the four Level 4 modules, Introduction to English Language was my favourite.

It’s the book if you’re an absolute beginner and into language studies. It covers the basics you’d need to get a rounded feel for the subject. Here are the contents.

  • Chap 1: The origins of language
  • Chap 2: Animals and human language
  • Chap 3: The Sounds of language
  • Chap 4: The sound patterns of language
  • Chap 5: Word formation
  • Chap 6: Morphology
  • Chap 7: Grammar
  • Chap 8: Syntax
  • Chap 9: Semantics
  • Chap 10: Pragmatics
  • Chap 11: Discourse analysis
  • Chap 12: Language and the brain
  • Chap 13: First language acquisition
  • Chap 14: Second language acquisition
  • Chap 15: Gestures and sign language
  • Chap 16: Written Language
  • Chap 17: Langauge history and change
  • Chap 18: Regional variation
  • Chap 19: Social variation in language
  • Chap 20: Language and culture

I’m excited to dive into morphology, grammar, acquisition, written language, and history. At the end of each chapter is the questions section:

  • Study Questions
  • Tasks
  • Discussion Topics/Projects
  • Further Reading

I’ve made some progress over time and notes while I was at it, what I’m planning to do is to study a chapter at a time, type my notes (initial post) and complete as many questions and tasks as I can (in the follow-up posts). I’ll be creating a page to keep track of it all according to the textbook.

The projects especially require answers in an essay format and I need the practice. The most challenging thing would be scheduling study time as I’ve become caught in the rut of an inefficient routine, but that is the point: to break the ill-fitted mold I’ve conformed to.

Until next time.

“To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.”
― Charles Baudelaire

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