ISBN: 0060958332
EAN13: 9780060958336
Language: English
Pages: 544
Dimensions: 1.4" H x 7.8" L x 5.3" W
Weight: 1 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

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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.

Pinker writes with acid verve. --Atlantic Monthly

An extremely valuable book, very informative, and very well written. --Noam Chomsky

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Book Reviews (6)

4
  |   6  reviews
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4
   A Brief Review of The Language Instinct
The Blank Slate is one of my favorite books. The Language Instinct is good enough for me to buy a copy after reading one from the Library, but it's not easy to read the first third. It is more difficult than The Blank Slate because it is more technical. A book that deals in part with linguistics has to use some of the discipline's rules. Pinker's idea that words do not control our thoughts was a good one. The expression of thinking and thinking are not the same thing. The degree of complexity and difficulty for computers to understand both the words used in speech and the indtended thoughts was helpful. Pinker's writing style is often funny.
 
4
   the magic of language
Pinker gets to the root of language and gives us a lot to ponder. The ebb and flow of time and geography was also described. The discussion re prescriptive v descriptive was cliche, but not disingenuous, and insisted that one person's construction of a sentence is as valid as another's as long as it clearly conveys. The academics seem to be saying that standards don't matter, while they all use the same standard language.
 
2
   A modern language wizard fails to cast his spell
This book can be used as an introduction to linguistics. The authors have absorbed the literature on the subject. His effort to understand language from a universal perspective while rejecting both a biological- determinism explanation and a relativistic explanation is my main beef. In his rejections, I have learned a lot about the field and authors I might be interested in studying in the future. His work is not worth much beyond that.
 
5
   Lo que más me atrae de las teorías modernas sobre ...
The modern theories of language attract me most because of the fact that there is a universal grammar that is born with babies because it has become part of the DNA of all human beings by the process of natural selection. Nowadays all babies are born with a general scheme. The subject, verbs, direct and indirect complement are used. The most interesting theory of human language is this one.
 
4
   Beautiful book. It also serves well with my ambitions ...
The book is beautiful. It serves well with my ambitions. The logic of the language process and how the mind will work on the techniques of producing language should be learned from this book. I kept this structure in the back of my mind as I questioned how humans communicate with each other. Pinker is an entertaining and thorough author.
 
4
   An Interesting Treaties on Natural Language
A detailed and descriptive work. It is over 20 hours and was never boring or technical to follow. It was a great read.
 
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