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In this core textbook, Laurie Bauer's engaging style brings linguistics to life and introduces readers to the fundamentals of the subject. Each essential area of linguistics is dealt with in turn, thereby providing readers with a clear and comprehensive overview of all the core topics, including semantics, syntax, phonology and pragmatics. Alongside definitions of key terms and explanations of how various issues slot together, this text also empowers readers by teaching them how to apply their knowledge to new data. Richly illustrated with examples from multiple languages and packed with interactive activities, this user-friendly book helps readers to master the basics and sets them up for further study in the field. This is an invaluable resource for those studying linguistics for the very first time. Equally, it provides a firm reference point for those with more experience in the field.