The Language InstinctThe Language Instinct
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The Language Instinct

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Steven Pinker

All humans have language instincts from birth. It is probably one of the factors responsible for our ongoing survival as a species that we have such a talent for language that goes far beyond the grammar we learn in school.

hashtagcognitive-science
hashtaglinguistics
clock10 min
bite5 Bites
target5 Insight

What's it about?

“The Language Instinct” (1994) presents a detailed analysis of the intricacies and origins of language, along with accelerated teaching in linguistics and linguistic anthropology. It proposes that innate propensities for learning a language are actually embedded in our brains and does so by examining our proficiency.

Book summary

All humans have language instincts from birth. It is probably one of the factors responsible for our ongoing survival as a species that we have such a talent for language that goes far beyond the grammar we learn in school.

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All Bites
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Language instinct is innate in all of us.

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Contrary to popular belief, words don’t actually affect our perception.

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The language system is based on two principles.

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Despite all the attention that grammar receives, words are equally interesting.

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Speech comprehension acts as our sixth sense.

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