Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language

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Harper Collins, Mar 8, 2011 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 384 pages
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How does language work? How do we learn to speak? Why do languages change? Why do they have so many quirks? What does language reveal about the mind?

Steven Pinker explores the mysteries of language in this original and hugely entertaining book. Pinker uses a deceptively simple phenomenon—regular and irregular verbs—to illuminate an astonishing array of topics: the history of languages, what we can learn from children's grammatical mistakes, the genetic and neurobiological underpinnings of language, and some of the major themes in Western philosophy. The key idea—that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules—extends beyond language, offering insight into the nature of thinking. For fans of The Language Instinct and The Stuff of Thought, here is another cornucopia of ideas about language and mind.


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Words and rules: the ingredients of language

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

For more than a dozen years, Pinker (brain and cognitive sciences, MIT) has conducted experimental studies of human linguistic behavior and pondered the nature of language and its relation to the ... Read full review

Review: Words And Rules: The Ingredients Of Language

User Review  - Alan Hughes - Goodreads

An excellent book, full information and humour. Makes an exploration of the psychology of language extremely readable. If only other specialists could write as well. Read full review


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About the author (2011)

One of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World Today," Steven Pinker is the author of seven books, including How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate—both Pulitzer Prize finalists and winners of the William James Book Award. He is an award-winning researcher and teacher, and a frequent contributor to Time and the New York Times.

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