The Language Instinct

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The Language Instinct

The Language Instinct [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 9780062032522
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Publisher: Harper Collins
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The Language Instinct by Book Resume:

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.

The 'Language Instinct' Debate

The 'Language Instinct' Debate [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 1441107649
Author: Geoffrey Sampson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
File Size: 841 KB
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Read Count: 5400519

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The 'Language Instinct' Debate by Geoffrey Sampson Book Resume:

When it was first published in 1997, Geoffrey Sampson's Educating Eve was described as the definitive response to Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct and Noam Chomsky's nativism. In this revised and expanded new edition, Sampson revisits his original arguments in the light of fresh evidence that has emerged since the original publication. Since Chomsky revolutionized the study of language in the 1960s, it has increasingly come to be accepted that language and other knowledge structures are hard-wired in our genes. According to this view, human beings are born with a rich structure of cognition already in place. But people do not realize how thin the evidence for that idea is. The 'Language Instinct' Debate examines the various arguments for instinctive knowledge, and finds that each one rests on false premisses or embodies logical fallacies. The structures of language are shown to be purely cultural creations. With a new chapter entitled 'How People Really Speak' which uses corpus data to analyse how language is used in spontaneous English conversation, responses to critics, extensive revisions throughout, and a new preface by Paul Postal of New York University, this new edition will be an essential purchase for students, academics, and general readers interested in the debate about the 'language instinct'.

Rationality

Rationality [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0525562001
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
File Size: 1629 KB
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Read Count: 1227569

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Rationality by Steven Pinker Book Resume:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “In our uncertain age, which can so often feel so dark and disturbing, Steven Pinker has distinguished himself as a voice of positivity.” – New York Times Can reading a book make you more rational? Can it help us understand why there is so much irrationality in the world? Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now (Bill Gates’s "new favorite book of all time”) answers all the questions here Today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding--and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing? Pinker rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply irrational--cavemen out of time saddled with biases, fallacies, and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself. We actually think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives, but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we’ve discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others. These tools are not a standard part of our education, and have never been presented clearly and entertainingly in a single book--until now. Rationality also explores its opposite: how the rational pursuit of self-interest, sectarian solidarity, and uplifting mythology can add up to crippling irrationality in a society. Collective rationality depends on norms that are explicitly designed to promote objectivity and truth. Rationality matters. It leads to better choices in our lives and in the public sphere, and is the ultimate driver of social justice and moral progress. Brimming with Pinker’s customary insight and humor, Rationality will enlighten, inspire, and empower.

The Stuff of Thought

The Stuff of Thought [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 1101202602
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
File Size: 1331 KB
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Read Count: 8261007

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The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker Book Resume:

This New York Times bestseller is an exciting and fearless investigation of language from the author of Better Angels of Our Nature and The Sense of Style and Enlightenment Now. "Curious, inventive, fearless, naughty." --The New York Times Book Review Bestselling author Steven Pinker possesses that rare combination of scientific aptitude and verbal eloquence that enables him to provide lucid explanations of deep and powerful ideas. His previous books - including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Blank Slate - have catapulted him into the limelight as one of today's most important popular science writers. In The Stuff of Thought, Pinker presents a fascinating look at how our words explain our nature. Considering scientific questions with examples from everyday life, The Stuff of Thought is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable work that will appeal to fans of everything from The Selfish Gene and Blink to Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Words and Rules

Words and Rules [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0465049710
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Basic Books
File Size: 1056 KB
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Read Count: 9350339

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Words and Rules by Steven Pinker Book Resume:

"If you are not already a Steven Pinker addict, this book will make you one." --Jared Diamond In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker explores profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple phenomenon--regular and irregular verbs--and examining it from every angle. With humor and verve, he covers an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities, from the history of languages to how to simulate languages on computers to major ideas in the history of Western philosophy. Through it all, Pinker presents a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind. This is a sparkling, eye-opening, and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.

Language

Language [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0307907023
Author: Daniel L. Everett
Publisher: Vintage
File Size: 1729 KB
File Format: Pdf
Read Count: 9396141

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Language by Daniel L. Everett Book Resume:

A bold and provocative study that presents language not as an innate component of the brain—as most linguists do—but as an essential tool unique to each culture worldwide. For years, the prevailing opinion among academics has been that language is embedded in our genes, existing as an innate and instinctual part of us. But linguist Daniel Everett argues that, like other tools, language was invented by humans and can be reinvented or lost. He shows how the evolution of different language forms—that is, different grammar—reflects how language is influenced by human societies and experiences, and how it expresses their great variety. For example, the Amazonian Pirahã put words together in ways that violate our long-held under-standing of how language works, and Pirahã grammar expresses complex ideas very differently than English grammar does. Drawing on the Wari’ language of Brazil, Everett explains that speakers of all languages, in constructing their stories, omit things that all members of the culture understand. In addition, Everett discusses how some cultures can get by without words for numbers or counting, without verbs for “to say” or “to give,” illustrating how the very nature of what’s important in a language is culturally determined. Combining anthropology, primatology, computer science, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, and his own pioneering—and adventurous—research with the Amazonian Pirahã, and using insights from many different languages and cultures, Everett gives us an unprecedented elucidation of this society-defined nature of language. In doing so, he also gives us a new understanding of how we think and who we are.

How the Mind Works

How the Mind Works [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 9780393069730
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
File Size: 377 KB
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Read Count: 3990955

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How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker Book Resume:

"A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear." —New York Review of Books In this Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational—and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness? How the Mind Works synthesizes the most satisfying explanations of our mental life from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and other fields to explain what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and contemplate the mysteries of life. This edition of Pinker's bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0199361150
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
File Size: 1974 KB
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Read Count: 2612414

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Language, Cognition, and Human Nature by Steven Pinker Book Resume:

Language, Cognition, and Human Nature collects together for the first time much of Steven Pinker's most influential scholarly work on language and cognition. Pinker's seminal research explores the workings of language and its connections to cognition, perception, social relationships, child development, human evolution, and theories of human nature. This eclectic collection spans Pinker's thirty-year career, exploring his favorite themes in greater depth and scientific detail. It includes thirteen of Pinker's classic articles, ranging over topics such as language development in children, mental imagery, the recognition of shapes, the computational architecture of the mind, the meaning and uses of verbs, the evolution of language and cognition, the nature-nurture debate, and the logic of innuendo and euphemism. Each outlines a major theory or takes up an argument with another prominent scholar, such as Stephen Jay Gould, Noam Chomsky, or Richard Dawkins. Featuring a new introduction by Pinker that discusses his books and scholarly work, this collection reflects essential contributions to cognitive science by one of our leading thinkers and public intellectuals.

Does a language instinct exist? The language Instinct Debate.

Does a language instinct exist? The language Instinct Debate. [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 3638396525
Author: Linda Neuhaus
Publisher: GRIN Verlag
File Size: 1244 KB
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Does a language instinct exist? The language Instinct Debate. by Linda Neuhaus Book Resume:

Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1.0, University of Duisburg-Essen (Department of English Linguistics), course: Developments in modern Linguistics, 14 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In 1994, when Steven Pinker’s book “The language instinct” was published, the linguistic world was confronted with the renewed debate, whether language comes from innate ideas or is just the result of experiencing and learning. This important debate which concerns linguistics until today will be the topic of the following work. The important question is, if a language instinct really exists and which evidence one can provide to assume that our language ability is inherited. Until today, there is great discussion and speculation about innate language ideas and the most important proponent for them nowadays is Steven Pinker. To set his nativist ideas in an appropriate context, it is necessary to explain where the ideas of “nativism” and the opposite linguistic school “empiricism” come from and what characteristics they show. This constructs a context and prepares a base for the focus on Pinker’s book. The most important founder of today’s nativist thoughts is certainly Noam Chomsky, whose ideas were the basis for Pinker’s assumption of a language instinct. For this reason, I will present a short summary of Chomsky’s ideas as the last aspect of the first chapter. Pinker’s arguments put forward in his work “The language instinct” will form the main part and second chapter of my work. I will present his definition of a language instinct and his given evidence for its existence. Because of the complexity of the pieces of evidence put forward in his whole work, I will pick up two of his most important aspects for innate language ideas: Pidgin and creoles and the case of the KE-Family. Afterwards, I will focus on two of his critics, Geoffrey Samspon and Stefan Schaden, because they composed both works being direct responses to Pinker’s “The language instinct”. This will permit us to discuss the question about its existence and which of the arguments for and against it appear more convincing. To prepare this discussion at the end, I will particularly have a closer look at Schaden’s and Sampson’s explicit refutes concerning Pinker’s main points of evidence. As a last step, I will summarize and discuss the arguments of the two sides carefully and complete my work with drawing my personal conclusion about the important question, if a language instinct really exists.

The Unfolding Of Language

The Unfolding Of Language [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 1407070282
Author: Guy Deutscher
Publisher: Random House
File Size: 945 KB
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The Unfolding Of Language by Guy Deutscher Book Resume:

'A persuasive and beautifully written take on how languages are constantly evolving... an enthralling read about human psychology and anthropology as well as linguistics.' ALEX BELLOS ___________________________________ 'Language is mankind's greatest invention - except of course, that it was never invented'. So begins Guy Deutscher's fascinating investigation into the evolution of language. No one believes that the Roman Senate sat down one day to design the complex system that is Latin grammar, and few believe, these days, in the literal truth of the story of the Tower of Babel. But then how did there come to be so many languages, and of such elaborate design? If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of 'man throw spear', how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced shades of meaning? Drawing on recent, groundbreaking discoveries in modern linguistics, Deutscher exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human communication. Along the way, we learn why German maidens are neuter while German turnips are female, why we have feet not foots, and how great changes in pronunciation may result from simple laziness... _____________________ 'Powerful and thrilling' SPECTATOR 'Really ought to be read by anyone who persists in complaining that the English language is going to the dogs' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'I was enthralled' A.S. Byatt, for GUARDIAN 'Books of the Year' 'Highly original... clever and convincing... this book will stretch your mind' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Fascinating' BOSTON GLOBE

Why Only Us

Why Only Us [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0262333368
Author: Robert C. Berwick,Noam Chomsky
Publisher: MIT Press
File Size: 871 KB
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Why Only Us by Robert C. Berwick,Noam Chomsky Book Resume:

Berwick and Chomsky draw on recent developments in linguistic theory to offer an evolutionary account of language and humans' remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire it. “A loosely connected collection of four essays that will fascinate anyone interested in the extraordinary phenomenon of language.” —New York Review of Books We are born crying, but those cries signal the first stirring of language. Within a year or so, infants master the sound system of their language; a few years after that, they are engaging in conversations. This remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire any human language—“the language faculty”—raises important biological questions about language, including how it has evolved. This book by two distinguished scholars—a computer scientist and a linguist—addresses the enduring question of the evolution of language. Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky explain that until recently the evolutionary question could not be properly posed, because we did not have a clear idea of how to define “language” and therefore what it was that had evolved. But since the Minimalist Program, developed by Chomsky and others, we know the key ingredients of language and can put together an account of the evolution of human language and what distinguishes us from all other animals. Berwick and Chomsky discuss the biolinguistic perspective on language, which views language as a particular object of the biological world; the computational efficiency of language as a system of thought and understanding; the tension between Darwin's idea of gradual change and our contemporary understanding about evolutionary change and language; and evidence from nonhuman animals, in particular vocal learning in songbirds.

The Blank Slate

The Blank Slate [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 1101200324
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
File Size: 737 KB
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Read Count: 3500150

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The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker Book Resume:

A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature from the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." --Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The Language Game

The Language Game [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 1541674979
Author: Morten H. Christiansen,Nick Chater
Publisher: Basic Books
File Size: 1974 KB
File Format: Pdf
Read Count: 6078143

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The Language Game by Morten H. Christiansen,Nick Chater Book Resume:

Forget the language instinct—this is the story of how we make up language as we go Language is perhaps humanity’s most astonishing capacity—and one that remains poorly understood. In The Language Game, cognitive scientists Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater show us where generations of scientists seeking the rules of language got it wrong. Language isn’t about hardwired grammars but about near-total freedom, something like a game of charades, with the only requirement being a desire to understand and be understood. From this new vantage point, Christiansen and Chater find compelling solutions to major mysteries like the origins of languages and how language learning is possible, and to long-running debates such as whether having two words for “blue” changes what we see. In the end, they show that the only real constraint on communication is our imagination.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

The Better Angels of Our Nature [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 1101544643
Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: Penguin
File Size: 1082 KB
File Format: Pdf
Read Count: 7872868

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The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker Book Resume:

“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read." —Bill Gates (May, 2017) Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year The author of Enlightenment Now and The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence. Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened? This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the esesnce of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.

Patterns In The Mind

Patterns In The Mind [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0786724056
Author: Ray S. Jackendorf,S Jackendorf
Publisher: Basic Books
File Size: 357 KB
File Format: Pdf
Read Count: 7445233

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Patterns In The Mind by Ray S. Jackendorf,S Jackendorf Book Resume:

What is it about the human mind that accounts for the fact that we can speak and understand a language? Why can’t other creatures do the same? And what does this tell us about the rest of human abilities? Recent dramatic discoveries in linguistics and psychology provide intriguing answers to these age-old mysteries. In this fascinating book, Ray Jackendoff emphasizes the grammatical commonalities across languages, both spoken and signed, and discusses the implications for our understanding of language acquisition and loss.

The Music Instinct

The Music Instinct [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 9780199780075
Author: Philip Ball
Publisher: Oxford University Press
File Size: 687 KB
File Format: Pdf
Read Count: 5547088

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The Music Instinct by Philip Ball Book Resume:

From Bach fugues to Indonesian gamelan, from nursery rhymes to rock, music has cast its light into every corner of human culture. But why music excites such deep passions, and how we make sense of musical sound at all, are questions that have until recently remained unanswered. Now in The Music Instinct, award-winning writer Philip Ball provides the first comprehensive, accessible survey of what is known--and still unknown--about how music works its magic, and why, as much as eating and sleeping, it seems indispensable to humanity. Deftly weaving together the latest findings in brain science with history, mathematics, and philosophy, The Music Instinct not only deepens our appreciation of the music we love, but shows that we would not be ourselves without it. The Sunday Times hailed it as "a wonderful account of why music matters," with Ball's "passion for music evident on every page."

That Old Cape Magic

That Old Cape Magic [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 030727330X
Author: Richard Russo
Publisher: Vintage
File Size: 965 KB
File Format: Pdf
Read Count: 1287407

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That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo Book Resume:

For Griffin, all paths, all memories, converge at Cape Cod. The Cape is where he took his childhood summer vacations, where he and his wife, Joy, honeymooned, where they decided he’d leave his LA screenwriting job to become a college professor, and where they celebrated the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. But when their beloved Laura’s wedding takes place a year later, Griffin is caught between chauffeuring his mother’s and father’s ashes in two urns and contending with Joy and her large, unruly family. Both he and she have also brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened? By turns hilarious, rueful, and uplifting, That Old Cape Magic is a profoundly involving novel about marriage, family, and all the other ties that bind.

How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention

How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 087140477X
Author: Daniel L. Everett
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
File Size: 580 KB
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Read Count: 5006210

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How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention by Daniel L. Everett Book Resume:

How Language Began revolutionizes our understanding of the one tool that has allowed us to become the "lords of the planet." Mankind has a distinct advantage over other terrestrial species: we talk to one another. But how did we acquire the most advanced form of communication on Earth? Daniel L. Everett, a “bombshell” linguist and “instant folk hero” (Tom Wolfe, Harper’s), provides in this sweeping history a comprehensive examination of the evolutionary story of language, from the earliest speaking attempts by hominids to the more than seven thousand languages that exist today. Although fossil hunters and linguists have brought us closer to unearthing the true origins of language, Daniel Everett’s discoveries have upended the contemporary linguistic world, reverberating far beyond academic circles. While conducting field research in the Amazonian rainforest, Everett came across an age-old language nestled amongst a tribe of hunter-gatherers. Challenging long-standing principles in the field, Everett now builds on the theory that language was not intrinsic to our species. In order to truly understand its origins, a more interdisciplinary approach is needed—one that accounts as much for our propensity for culture as it does our biological makeup. Language began, Everett theorizes, with Homo Erectus, who catalyzed words through culturally invented symbols. Early humans, as their brains grew larger, incorporated gestures and voice intonations to communicate, all of which built on each other for 60,000 generations. Tracing crucial shifts and developments across the ages, Everett breaks down every component of speech, from harnessing control of more than a hundred respiratory muscles in the larynx and diaphragm, to mastering the use of the tongue. Moving on from biology to execution, Everett explores why elements such as grammar and storytelling are not nearly as critical to language as one might suspect. In the book’s final section, Cultural Evolution of Language, Everett takes the ever-debated “language gap” to task, delving into the chasm that separates “us” from “the animals.” He approaches the subject from various disciplines, including anthropology, neuroscience, and archaeology, to reveal that it was social complexity, as well as cultural, physiological, and neurological superiority, that allowed humans—with our clawless hands, breakable bones, and soft skin—to become the apex predator. How Language Began ultimately explains what we know, what we’d like to know, and what we likely never will know about how humans went from mere communication to language. Based on nearly forty years of fieldwork, Everett debunks long-held theories by some of history’s greatest thinkers, from Plato to Chomsky. The result is an invaluable study of what makes us human.

Constructing a Language

Constructing a Language [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0674044398
Author: Michael TOMASELLO
Publisher: Harvard University Press
File Size: 665 KB
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Read Count: 3384204

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Constructing a Language by Michael TOMASELLO Book Resume:

In this groundbreaking book, Tomasello presents a comprehensive usage-based theory of language acquisition. Drawing together a vast body of empirical research in cognitive science, linguistics, and developmental psychology, Tomasello demonstrates that we don't need a self-contained "language instinct" to explain how children learn language. Their linguistic ability is interwoven with other cognitive abilities.

The Interactional Instinct

The Interactional Instinct [Pdf/ePub] eBook ISBN-10: 0199888833
Author: Namhee Lee,Lisa Mikesell,Anna Dina L. Joaquin,Andrea W. Mates,John H. Schumann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
File Size: 1858 KB
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Read Count: 1406216

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The Interactional Instinct by Namhee Lee,Lisa Mikesell,Anna Dina L. Joaquin,Andrea W. Mates,John H. Schumann Book Resume:

The Interactional Instinct explores the evolution of language from the theoretical view that language could have emerged without a biologically instantiated Universal Grammar. In the first part of the book, the authors speculate that a hominid group with a lexicon of about 600 words could combine these items to make larger meanings. Combinations that are successfully produced, comprehended, and learned become part of the language. Any combination that is incompatible with human mental capacities is abandoned. The authors argue for the emergence of language structure through interaction constrained by human psychology and physiology. In the second part of the book, the authors argue that language acquisition is based on an "interactional instinct" that emotionally entrains the infant on caregivers. This relationship provides children with a motivational and attentional mechanism that ensures their acquisition of language. In adult second language acquisition, the interactional instinct is no longer operating, but in some individuals with sufficient aptitude and motivation, successful second-language acquisition can be achieved. The Interactional Instinct presents a theory of language based on linguistic, evolutionary, and biological evidence indicating that language is a culturally inherited artifact that requires no a priori hard wiring of linguistic knowledge.