Selected Writings of Sydney Lamb: Language and Reality

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Language and Reality presents selected writings of Professor Sydney Lamb, including five new works and several which have been reworked for this publication. Professor Lamb's work in linguistics over the past four decades has been concerned with exposing illusions about language and with finding realities, including neurological realities, behind the linguistic abstractions that others have dwelt upon. His name is synonymous with certain landmarks in the development of linguistic theory, including stratificational grammar, relational network theory and, more recently, neurocognitive linguistics. Although he is a leading figure in linguistic science, many of the papers included here are far from well known, some of them having appeared only in more obscure venues of publication and, until now, unavailable to the wider linguistics community. The book is divided in to four parts, the first of which includes papers offering insight into the man behind this pioneering approach to linguistics that might best be summed up as 'linguistics to the beat of a different drummer'.The papers in Part II explore the theoretical origins of Lamb's ideas about language that have often been described as ahead of their time. Part III includes more recent writings outlining work done in neurocognitive linguistics. Studies of the interconnectedness of language with other kinds of human experience and with history are presented in Part IV. Sydney Lamb is Arnold Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Rice University in Texas, Jonathan J. Webster is Head of the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics at the City University of Hong Kong.