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The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates…
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The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (Perennial Classics) (original 1994; edition 2000)

by Steven Pinker (Author)

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5,229541,496 (3.98)104
The classic book on the development of human language by the world's leading expert on language and the mind. In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.… (more)
Member:YousefKhader
Title:The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (Perennial Classics)
Authors:Steven Pinker (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2000), Edition: 1, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker (1994)

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  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Ik wou al sinds geruime tijd iets van Steven Pinker lezen. Vooral z'n taalgerichte boeken sprongen er bovenuit. Aangezien dit een van de klassiekers in het wereldje is, was de keuze snel gemaakt. Ik heb echter wel voor deze heruitgave gekozen, omdat Pinker een kleine update eraan toegevoegd heeft.

Het is natuurlijk geen eenvoudige kost, maar Pinker heeft het toch zo toegankelijk mogelijk gemaakt. Het is geen droog, academisch werk - althans, het is niet op die manier geschreven -, wel wat losser, met hier en daar wat grappige verwoordingen en anekdotes.

Pinker beschrijft hoe taal ontstaat, welke invloeden er zijn, hoe het in elkaar zit (toch vooral wat het Engels betreft - je kunt het extrapoleren naar gelijkaardige talen qua techniciteit; je krijgt ook een les zinsontleding, m.i. een leuke opfrissing), hoe baby's ermee omgaan, hoe je met beperkte kennis toch zinnen kunt maken en je punt kunt maken of probeert te maken (vb. pidgin, creools, ...). Verder beschrijft hij hoe en waar (omstandigheden, situaties) taal gebruikt wordt, hoe spraaktechnologie erbij gekomen is, hoe je met taal kunt spelen, hoe de hersenen het mogelijk maken (en waarom andere dieren niet kunnen spreken zoals de mens, ook al leren we sommige soorten dat wel te doen: vogels, apen, honden, ...).

Maar dan komt er een moment waarop Pinker zich beter waant dan de rest en pedant, betweterig wordt; een moment waarin hij bijvoorbeeld bepaalde specialisten op hun plaats probeert te zetten door hun manier van denken aan te vallen. Wellicht heeft hij ergens gelijk, maar de manier waarop deed me toch de wenkbrauwen fronsen.

De extra's zijn wat korte info over z'n opvoeding, z'n studies, hoe dit boek tot stand is gekomen, z'n invloeden (o.a. Noam Chomsky), en hoe de wereld op vlak van taalonderzoek (incl. genetica, neurowetenschappen, e.d.) veranderd is sinds de eerste publicatie van het boek. Hier vertelt hij ook hoe het bepaalde personen en bevindingen vergaan is in de loop der jaren.

Pinkers pedant gedrag terzijde, is 'The Language Instinct' toch wel een aanrader voor wie zich voor taal, taalkundigheid, e.d. interesseert. Pinker gaat breed, behandelt verschillende aspecten zodat je eigen beeld over taal groter, diverser wordt dan voorheen.

[b:The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature|2813972|The Stuff of Thought Language as a Window into Human Nature|Steven Pinker|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348133891s/2813972.jpg|2839893] staat op m'n wishlist, en gezien dit boek enigszins gerelateerd is aan 'The Language Instinct', wordt dit m'n volgende Pinker. Op termijn. ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
Very interesting and easy to read! ( )
  gakgakg | May 28, 2020 |
This is a book of 500 pages, counting the index (and a book this long badly needs an index, when it refers on page 400-something to a debunked urban myth mentioned on page 65). The author does go on and on and ON sometimes. Evolutionary theory of language is so unproven and unable to be proven historically, but Pinker certainly employs a lot of verbiage in the attempt.

High spots which may warrant keeping the book on the shelf include the discussion in Chapter 11, pp 334 ff, of ape "language" (basically a hoax, with a lot of self-deception by starry-eyed researchers); the Deaf community has been saying for years that ASL is not what language-trained apes are signing, and it's a relief to see that message validated and confirmed in mainstream popular linguistics... and the discussion centering around page 424 of how research reveals that human children from quite a young age have an innate sense that "living things fall into kinds with hidden essences", i.e. a shaved and painted raccoon is still a raccoon and not a skunk even if doctors operate and put a "sac of really smelly stuff" inside it; and that children are uncomfortable with the idea of a horse that has cow insides and cow parents. This kind of data has definite implications for gender theory in the elementary classroom and its effects on children's cognitive development and mental health. ( )
  muumi | May 17, 2020 |
beautiful explanation of a universal grammar ( )
  kaikai1 | May 10, 2020 |
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For Harry and Roslyn Pinker who gave me language
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I have never met a person who is not interested in language.
As you are reading these words, you are taking part in one of the wonders of the natural world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The classic book on the development of human language by the world's leading expert on language and the mind. In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140175296, 0141037652

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