Cover image for The language myth : why language is not an instinct
Title:
The language myth : why language is not an instinct
Author:
Evans, Vyvyan, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
xi, 304 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
"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; 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"--
Language:
English
Contents:
1. Language and mind rethought -- 2. Is human language unrelated to animal communication systems -- 3. Are there language universals -- 4. Is language innate -- 5. Is language a distinct module in the mind? -- 6. Is there a universal Mentalese? -- 7. Is thought independent of language? -- 8. Language and mind regained.
ISBN:
9781107619753

9781107043961
Format :
Book

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Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library P204 .E88 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Audubon Library P204 .E88 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

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.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1 Language and mind rethought
2 Is human language unrelated to animal communication systems?
3 Are there language universals?
4 Is language innate?
5 Is language a distinct module in the mind?
6 Is there a universal Mentalese?
7 Is thought independent of language?
8 Language and mind regained

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