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Five Minute Linguist coverThe Five-Minute Linguist: Bite-Sized Essays on Language and Languages

Edited by E. M. Reckerson and Barry Hilton

Published by
Equinox Publishing

Language is a vital part of everybody's life, and nearly everybody is interested in knowing more about it. It's all too easy for people to lose interest, though, when the answers to their questions turn out to be long and technically challenging.

The Five-Minute Linguist: Bite-sized Essays on Language and Languages takes a new approach to making accurate and up-to-date knowledge about language accessible in a non-academic way. It consists of 60 short chapters adapted from the weekly scripts of a popular U.S. public radio series on language. Chapters were contributed by a cross-section of leading language professionals, including current and former CAL staff members and trustees. The scripts address questions like "How many languages are there in the world?" "Is elementary school too early to teach foreign languages?" and "How good is machine translation?" They are written with a light touch that has been highly successful in reaching an audience of intelligent non-specialists. The book preserves that light touch while adding such features as an index (to help readers connect topics touched on in more than one chapter) and suggestions for follow-up reading. 2006

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