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Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Perennial
Publication date November 1, 2000
Binding Paperback
Edition Reprint
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780060958404
ISBN-10 0060958405
Dimensions 0.75 by 5.25 by 8 in.
Weight 0.60 lbs.
Original list price $15.00
Summaries and Reviews
Summary
An examination of the human ability to use language by an MIT professor traces the history and evolution of the English language, the theories of Noam Chomsky, the way children learn to use language, and much more. Reprint. (view table of contents)
Amazon.com description: Product Description:

How does language work, and how do we learn to speak? Why do languages change over time, and why do they have so many quirks and irregularities? In this original and totally entertaining book written in the same engaging style that illuminated his bestselling classics, The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works, Seven Pinker explores the profound mysteries of language.

By picking a deceptively simple phenomenon--regular and irregular verbs--Pinker connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and the humanities: the history of languages; the theories of Noam Chomosky and his critics; the attempts to create language using computer simulations of neural networks; what there is to learn from children's grammatical "mistakes"; the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the brain; and major ideas in the history of Western philosophy. He makes sense of all this with the help of a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammer of creative rules. His theory extends beyond language and offers insight in the very nature of the human mind.

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