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Talk Talk Talk by Jay Ingram

Talk Talk Talk

by Jay Ingram

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Ok, finally I have had a decent introduction to the whole Noam Chomsky language controversy, and I didn't have to read His big dense output to get it. Instead, it was simply part of this quick but rich overview of lots of different investigations into language and communication.

Accessible enough for novice lay readers, with a conversational & lightly humorous tone. Just enough of stuff like "Here of course (do I have to say it again?) there's considerable disagreement..."

Just a little dated, but that's ok, as Ingram points to expected areas of research and now I know precisely where to look for more recent developments.

I've read a lot of books about the history of language, and the Washoe, Kanzi, and Nim experiments, and neuro-biology, and I'm very happy with how much I learned here.

Too bad Ingram is listed as 'a radio personality' in the description. He understands science a lot better than most journalists who pretend to be experts. I'd much rather read more of his work than any more of, say, that by [a:Malcolm Gladwell|1439|Malcolm Gladwell|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1224601838p2/1439.jpg].

In fact, I will. And I will read some of that listed in the annotated bibliography, too.

ETA - the only other reviewer says 'it's not about language history' - well, actually two chapters really are and much of the rest of the book incorporates ideas from the field. It's also about much more than the mechanics of language, though that topic, too, is included.

And the very first chapter was a bit difficult for me, as it's written to set the stage, and therefore the author's bias shows through insufficient acknowledgement of the conditional. That is to say, it's all about how easy conversation is, and some of us, even those of us who are not Aspergian, have difficulty with the cues Ingram claims are automatic. But get past that and the rest of the book is cool. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
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