Words and Rules : The Ingredients of Language Paperback
Part of the Science Masters series
One of the world's science superstars presents a brilliantly illuminating, entertaining and cutting-edge account of how language actually works.
How does language work? How do children learn their mother tongue? Why do languages change over time, making Chaucer's English almost incomprehensible?
Steven Pinker explains the profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple single phenomenon and examining it from every angle.
That phenomenon - the existence of regular and irregular verbs - connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities: the history of languages; the illuminating errors of children as they begin to speak; the sources of the major themes in the history of Western philosophy; the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the living brain.
Pinker makes sense of all of this with the help of a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages, 10 Line Drawing(s)
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 05/10/2000
- Category: Philosophy of language
- ISBN: 9780753810255
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Review by hippietrail
As long as you're aware that this book is for a more linguistics-specific audience than Pinker's other well-known works, Words and Rules is enlightening and well written.