Review by Choice Review
The paperback edition of this compact dictionary is designed to accompany introductory courses in linguistics. It provides brief information on a wide range of topics: grammar, linguistics, languages, people in linguistics, the Internet, and even academia. Trask (Univ. of Sussex), who has also written a textbook on historical linguistics, adopts a conversational tone well suited to novice readers. He excels at explaining daunting technical terms in ordinary language (defining "negotiated input," for example, as "bits of foreign language which you learn by asking native speakers to clarify their utterances when you don't understand them"). His examples also stand out for their simplicity, e.g., "pleonasm--a linguistic form or expression in which the same information is given twice, as in female woman." A few of the definitions seem too short to be truly useful, but on the whole the dictionary should be a lifesaver for readers who do not need the scholarly analysis of more expansive dictionaries such as David Crystal's A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics (3rd ed., 1991). Recommended for public and academic libraries at all levels. J. M. Alexander Northwestern University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.