The Language Instinct

'Dazzling...Pinker's big idea is that language is an instinct...as innate to us as flying is to geese.

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141929685

Category: Philosophy

Page: 496

View: 916

'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 investigations' - Independent 'A marvellously readable book...illuminates every facet of human language: its biological origin, its uniqueness to humanity, it acquisition by children, its grammatical structure, the production and perception of speech, the pathology of language disorders and the unstoppable evolution of languages and dialects' - Nature

The Language Instinct Debate

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 ...

Author: Geoffrey Sampson

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0826473849

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 224

View: 442

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'.


The Language Instinct Debate

When Steven Pinker brought out The Language Instinct in 1994, it was hard to
guess why he was so keen to persuade us that the detailed structure of human
languages was contained in our genetic endowment. I took it that he just
happened ...

Author: Geoffrey Sampson

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1441107649

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 240

View: 282

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'.

Does a language instinct exist The language Instinct Debate

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 ...

Author: Linda Neuhaus

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 3638396525

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 33

View: 688

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 Language Myth

Drawing on cutting-edge research, Evans presents an alternative to the received wisdom, showing how language and the mind really work.

Author: Vyvyan Evans

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107043964

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 318

View: 257

Drawing on cutting-edge research, Evans presents an alternative to the received wisdom, showing how language and the mind really work.

The Language of Statutes

By the time that Locke made his oneday error, the BLM had corrected its
brochure. 95. Id. at 95–96 (citations omitted). ... For an accessible discussion, see
Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (1994).
107.

Author: Lawrence Solan

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226767963

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 288

View: 778

We are capable of writing crisp yet flexible laws, but Solan explains that difficult cases result when the ways in which our cognitive and linguistic faculties are structured fail to produce a single, clear interpretation. Though we are predisposed to absorb new situations into categories we have previously formed, our conceptualization is not always as crisp as the legislative and judicial realms demand. In such cases, Solan contends that other values, most importantly legislative intent, must come into play. The Language of Statutes provides an excellent introduction to statutory interpretation, rejecting the extreme arguments that judges have either too much or too little leeway, and explaining how and why a certain number of interpretive problems are simply inevitable. --Book Jacket.

Words and Rules

"If you are not already a Steven Pinker addict, this book will make you one.

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465049710

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 384

View: 989

"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.

The Interactional Instinct

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" ...

Author: Namhee Lee

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195384237

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 233

View: 470

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. Its structure evolved phylo- genetically from interaction among speakers and is acquired through emotionally entrained interaction with conspecifics.

The Unfolding of Language

Lefebvre (2004)), and this undermines attempts to present pidgins and Creoles
as accurate reflections of earlier stages in the ... For advocates of the opposite
view, see G. Sampson's Educating Eve: The 'Language Instinct' Debate (1997), ...

Author: Guy Deutscher

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1466837837

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 368

View: 323

Blending the spirit of Eats, Shoots & Leaves with the science of The Language Instinct, an original inquiry into the development of that most essential-and mysterious-of human creations: Language Language is mankind's greatest invention-except, of course, that it was never invented." So begins linguist Guy Deutscher's enthralling investigation into the genesis and evolution of language. 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 degrees of meaning? Drawing on recent groundbreaking discoveries in modern linguistics, Deutscher exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human communication, giving us fresh insight into how language emerges, evolves, and decays. He traces the evolution of linguistic complexity from an early "Me Tarzan" stage to such elaborate single-word constructions as the Turkish sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz ("you are one of those whom we couldn't turn into a town dweller"). Arguing that destruction and creation in language are intimately entwined, Deutscher shows how these processes are continuously in operation, generating new words, new structures, and new meanings. As entertaining as it is erudite, The Unfolding of Language moves nimbly from ancient Babylonian to American idiom, from the central role of metaphor to the staggering triumph of design that is the Semitic verb, to tell the dramatic story and explain the genius behind a uniquely human faculty.

The Art Instinct

Thus in the spirit of Terence, Steven Pinker concludes his overview of the state of
linguistics, The Language Instinct: “Knowing about the ubiquity of complex
language across individuals and cultures and the single mental design
underlying ...

Author: Denis Dutton

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199539421

Category: Aesthetics

Page: 278

View: 362

The Dinka have a connoisseur's appreciation of the patterns and colours of the markings on their cattle. The Japanese tea ceremony is regarded as a performance art. Some cultures produce carving but no drawing; others specialize in poetry. Yet despite the rich variety of artistic expression to be found across many cultures, we all share a deep sense of aesthetic pleasure. The need to create art of some form is found in every human society. In iThe Art Instinct/i, Denis Dutton exploresthe idea that this need has an evolutionary basis: how the feelings that we all share when we see a wonderful landscape or a beautiful sunset evolved as a useful adaptation in our hunter-gather ancestors, and have been passed on to us today, manifest in our artistic natures. Why do people indulge in displaying their artistic skills? How can we understand artistic genius? Why do we value art, and what is it for? These questions have long been asked by scholars in the humanities and in literature, but this is the first book to consider the biological basis of this deep human need. This sparking and intelligent book looks at these deep and fundamental questions, and combines the science of evolutionary psychology with aesthetics, to shed new light on longstanding questions about the nature of art.


American Annals of Education

The language instinct ( sprachgefühl ) which every child possesses must be
cultivated by assiduous exercise , of which reading , speaking , writing are only
so many various forms . The language instinct is the true guide through the
intricacies ...

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category:

Page:

View: 540


New Essays on the Origin of Language

Introduction : Human ethology , signalling behaviour , and narration The title of
my essay echoes the title of Steven Pinker ' s well - known book . Pinker ' s "
language instinct ” , however , alludes to language structures , whereas my title
refers ...

Author: Jürgen Trabant

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 9783110170252

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 258

View: 851

The series publishes state-of-the-art work on core areas of linguistics across theoretical frameworks as well as studies that provide new insights by building bridges to neighbouring fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science. THe series considers itself a forum for cutting-edge research based on solid empirical data on language in its various manifestations, including sign languages. IT regards linguistic variation in its synchronic and diachronic dimensions as well as in its social contexts as important sources of insight for a better understanding of the design of linguistic systems and the ecology and evolution of language.

Talking Hands

Documents life in a remote Bedouin village in Israel whose residents communicate through a unique method of sign language used by both hearing and non-hearing citizens, in an account that offers insight into the relationship between ...

Author: Margalit Fox

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743247139

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 368

View: 406

Documents life in a remote Bedouin village in Israel whose residents communicate through a unique method of sign language used by both hearing and non-hearing citizens, in an account that offers insight into the relationship between language and the human mind. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

The Language of Design

Up until now, we have only addressed the issue of the connection between
language and design as conceptual. ... linguistic nativists, starting with Noam
Chomsky and more recently Stephen Pinker with his book The language instinct.
In the ...

Author: Andy An-Si Dong

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1848820216

Category: Computers

Page: 194

View: 651

“The Language of Design” articulates the theory that there is a language of design. Drawing upon insights from computational language processing, the language of design is modeled computationally through latent semantic analysis (LSA), lexical chain analysis (LCA), and sentiment analysis (SA). The statistical co-occurrence of semantics (LSA), semantic relations (LCA), and semantic modifiers (SA) in design text is used to illustrate how the reality producing effect of language is itself an enactment of design, allowing a new understanding of the connections between creative behaviors. The computation of the language of design makes it possible to make direct measurements of creative behaviors which are distributed across social spaces and mediated through language. The book demonstrates how machine understanding of design texts based on computation over the language of design yields practical applications for design management.

The Great Mosaic Eye

Pinker and others With these introductory remarks about Chomskyan linguistics
one can turn to Steven Pinker's book The Language Instinct, which is the most
recent, comprehensive and ambitious attempt to account for the origin of
language.

Author: Robin Allott

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

ISBN: 1469146304

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 600

View: 611

This is a revised and extended version of the Great Mosaic Eye originally published in 2001. There have been major changes in neuroscience and in language research since then. Apparently disparate segments of research have started to come together and it is necessary to recast both the structure and the content of the book. The extended title of the book with the addition of the word Society reflects this. Another important change is that the book as originally published fell into two halves, part 1 being the text of the book and part 2 an inserted CD which included a great deal of additional material that made possible important graphical and video content not easily presented in text form. This new edition attempts to integrate all the material contained in the earlier edition but relying on links to the Internet for material in place of that contained in the inserted CD. This new book, as indeed was the case for the earlier version, was intended to bring together a mass of material which had been published separately over more than 40 years under the titles The Physical Foundation of Language (first published 1973 and recently reprinted), The Motor Theory of Language (1989), The Natural Origin of Language: The Structural Inter-relation of Language Vision and Action, The Child and the World: How the child acquires language - How language mirrors the world (2005). All these are now in print so that it is not necessary to repeat in this book much of the extensive discussion in the earlier books - all supplemented by other recent material readily accessible on the Internet at

Communication Studies

In his book The Language Instinct he brings this approach to bear upon
language which ' most educated people ' , he quips , ' know ... is man's most
important cultural invention ' . In fact Pinker lists the knowns about language with
great ...

Author: Andrew Beck

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415287937

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 352

View: 719

A comprehensive collection of primary source material for all those studying communications at university and pre-university level. Extracts include a range of texts including journalism and writings on film, television and popular culture

Sold on Language

In his book The Language Instinct, Steven Pinker makes the point that humans
are so innately hardwired for language that they can no more suppress their
ability to learn and use language than they can suppress the instinct to pull a
hand ...

Author: Julie Sedivy

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781119996088

Category: Psychology

Page: 330

View: 327

As citizens of capitalist, free-market societies, we tend to celebrate choice and competition. However, in the 21st century, as we have gained more and more choices, we have also become greater targets for persuasive messages from advertisers who want to make those choices for us. In Sold on Language, noted language scientists Julie Sedivy and Greg Carlson examine how rampant competition shapes the ways in which commercial and political advertisers speak to us. In an environment saturated with information, advertising messages attempt to compress as much persuasive power into as small a linguistic space as possible. These messages, the authors reveal, might take the form of a brand name whose sound evokes a certain impression, a turn of phrase that gently applies peer pressure, or a subtle accent that zeroes in on a target audience. As more and more techniques of persuasion are aimed squarely at the corner of our mind which automatically takes in information without conscious thought or deliberation, does 'endless choice' actually mean the end of true choice? Sold on Language offers thought-provoking insights into the choices we make as consumers and citizens – and the choices that are increasingly being made for us. Click here for more discussion and debate on the authors’ blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sold-language [Wiley disclaims all responsibility and liability for the content of any third-party websites that can be linked to from this website. Users assume sole responsibility for accessing third-party websites and the use of any content appearing on such websites. Any views expressed in such websites are the views of the authors of the content appearing on those websites and not the views of Wiley or its affiliates, nor do they in any way represent an endorsement by Wiley or its affiliates.]