More than anything else, language is what makes us human. Linguistics, the discipline which studies the structure, function and phenomena of language, has uncovered many surprising and fascinating things about the nature of our human language faculty. But these findings are often presented in opaque technical terminology which hides their simplicity and beauty. "Intoducing Linguistics" demystifies the subject, presenting a clear account of what linguists do, how they go about it, and what they have achieved so far. A summary of the history of linguistics, from Aristotle to Chomsky, includes the chief contributions of its leading figures - Saussure, the Prague Circle, the American structuralists, Sapir, Bloomfield and others. Illustrated by Bill Mayblin, this book provides a review of the most recent and dramatic advances in the field, such as first-language acquisition by children, language in the brain, sign languages, language change and linguistic prehistory.