This book sets out to answer a question that many linguists have been hesitant to ask: are some languages better than others? Written in the author's usual accessible and engaging style, the book outlines the essential and optional features of language, before concluding that the ideal language does not and probably never will exist.
R. M. W. Dixon is Adjunct Professor and Deputy Director of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University. He has written extensively on a number of Australian and Amazonian languages, as well as on ergativity, semantics, and English grammar. His many books include The Rise and Fall of Languages (CUP 1997), Basic Linguistic Theory (OUP 2010-2), Making New Words (OUP 2014), and Edible Gender, Mother-in-Law Style, and Other Grammatical Wonders (OUP 2015). Dixon's academic biography I am a Linguist was published by Brill in 2011.