The Language Instinct (Popular Penguins)

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9780141037653: The Language Instinct (Popular Penguins)

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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About the Author:

Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer finalist and the winner of many prizes for his research, teaching, and books, he has been named one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world today and Foreign Policy's 100 Global Thinkers. He lives in Cambridge.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Another in a series of books (Joel Davis's Mother Tongue, p. 1303; Ray Jackendorf's Patterns in the Mind, p. 1439) popularizing Chomsky's once controversial theories explaining the biological basis of language. Variously mellow, intense, and bemused--but never boring--Pinker (Director, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience/MIT), emphasizes Darwinian theory and defines language as a ``biological adaptation to communicate.'' While Pinker bases his argument on the innate nature of language, he situates language in that transitional area between instinct and learned behavior, between nature and culture. Starting with what he calls a ``grammar gene,'' Pinker describes the way primitives, children (his special interest), even the deaf evolve natural languages responding to the universal need to communicate. He refutes the ``comic history'' of linguistic determinism, the belief that language shapes thinking, undermining it with examples from music, mathematics, and kinship theory. Following his lively, user-friendly demonstration of even the most forbidding aspects of linguistics, and his discussion of vocabulary, how words are acquired, built, and used, he rises to a celebration of the ``harmony between the mind...and the texture of reality.'' This theme, the power and mystery of the human mind, permeates Pinker's engaging study, balanced with the more sober scientific belief that the mind is an ``adapted computational model'': ``To a scientist,'' he writes, ``the fundamental fact of human language is its sheer improbability.'' Among the many interesting though not sequential ideas: If language is innate, biologically based, then it can't be taught either to animals or computers. Pinker shows why adults have difficulty learning a foreign language, and he mediates coolly between rules and usage, between systematic and non-prescriptive grammar. Designed for a popular audience, this is in fact a hefty read full of wonder and wisdom. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Descrizione libro 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. '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 inve.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 496 pages. 0.250. Codice libro della libreria 9780141037653

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Descrizione libro Penguin UK, 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct propelled him to worldwide fame in 1994. His groundbreaking book's premise - that language is instinctual rather than acquired - so shook the foundations of biological science that the reverberations are still being felt today. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria MM-40019264

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Descrizione libro 2008. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. '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 .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 496 pages. 0.250. Codice libro della libreria 9780141037653

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