The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (Perennial Classics)

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9780060958336: The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (Perennial Classics)

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.

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Simply by making noises with our mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other's minds. The ability comes so naturally that we are apt to forget what a miracle it is. Pursuing the ideas of Darwin and Chomsky, Steven Pinker offers a look at why we use language and where this ability comes from. Rather than being an acquired cultural artefact, it is vigorously argued that language is a biological adaptation to communicate information and as such is a system of great richness and beauty. Using examples of the way language is used in daily life from the mouths of children to the pontifications of politicians, Pinker explores this system and our instinct to use it.

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'Dazzling...Pinker's big idea is that language is an instinct...as innate to us as flying is to geese...Words can hardly do justice to the superlative range and liveliness of Pinker's investigations' - Independent 'A marvellously readable book...illuminates every facet of human language: its biological origin, its uniqueness to humanity, it acquisition by children, its grammatical structure, the production and perception of speech, the pathology of language disorders and the unstoppable evolution of languages and dialects' - Nature

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