The Language Myth : Why Language Is Not an Instinct, Paperback / softback Book

The Language Myth : Why Language Is Not an Instinct Paperback / softback


Language is central to our lives, the cultural tool that arguably sets us apart from other species.

Some scientists have argued that language is innate, a type of unique human 'instinct' pre-programmed in us from birth.

In this book, Vyvyan Evans argues that this received wisdom is, in fact, a myth.

Debunking the notion of a language 'instinct', Evans demonstrates that language is related to other animal forms of communication; that languages exhibit staggering diversity; that we learn our mother tongue drawing on general properties and abilities of the human mind, rather than an inborn 'universal' grammar; that language is not autonomous but is closely related to other aspects of our mental lives; and that, ultimately, language and the mind reflect and draw upon the way we interact with others in the world.

Compellingly written and drawing on cutting-edge research, The Language Myth sets out a forceful alternative to the received wisdom, showing how language and the mind really work.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 314 pages, 11 Tables, black and white; 4 Halftones, unspecified; 7 Line drawings, unspecified
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Psycholinguistics
  • ISBN: 9781107619753



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