The Language Instinct

The Language Instinct

Book - 1994
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Baker & Taylor
The codirector of the MIT Center for Cognitive Science explains how language works, how it differs from thought, why adults have difficulty learning foreign languages, and why computers cannot learn human language.


The classic book on the development of human language by the world’s leading expert on language and the mind.

In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.

& Taylor

Building a bridge between "innatists" and "social interactionists," a researcher contends that the capacity for language is wired into our brains by evolution and examines the relationship between words and thoughts, the proliferation of language, and the "language mavens." Reprint.

Publisher: New York : W. Morrow and Co., c1994
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060958336
Characteristics: 494 p. : ill ; 25 cm


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SPPL_Kristen Mar 21, 2018

This was a really interesting read and I like a lot of Pinker's ideas, even if I don't agree with all of them fully.

Jul 27, 2012

Fascinating book about how we develop language. Fairly accessible . Especially liked the chapter on evolution.

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