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Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (1999)

door Steven Pinker

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1,669168,087 (3.75)32
"In Words and Rules, Pinker explains the profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively single phenomenon and examining it from every angle. The phenomenon - regular and irregular verbs - connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities: the history of languages; the theories of Noam Chomsky and his critics; the attempts to simulate language using computer simulations of neural networks; the illuminating errors of children as they begin to speak; the nature of human concepts; the peculiarities of the English language; major ideas in the history of Western philosophy; the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the living brain."--BOOK JACKET.… (meer)
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1-5 van 16 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
The edition I am currently reading has a hideous '90s purple and orange cover--so that's a downside.

I've found this to be the most philosophical of the linguistics books I've been hoarding lately . . . a good thing so far. Will update when I have the stamina to finish. Since it's not a novel, I've been reading chapters of this, going back and forth to later works . . . a quite enjoyable way to take it all in. The part on causation has blown my mind thus far. First chapter sort of boring.
  charlyk | Nov 15, 2019 |
An interesting history of language. Pinker generally writes in a very engaging way, if at times the technical details.obscure what he is trying to say., ( )
  INeilC | Sep 13, 2019 |
How does language work? How do children learn their mother tongue? Why do languages change over time, making Chaucer's English almost incomprehensible? Steven Pinker explains the profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple single phenomenon and examining it from every angle. That phenomenon ' the existence of regular and irregular verbs ' connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities: the history of languages; the illuminating errors of children as they begin to speak; the sources of the major themes in the history of Western philosophy; the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the living brain. Pinker makes sense of all of this with the help of a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules.
  MLJLibrary | May 1, 2018 |
I love this book.

This book was highly recommended by a friend after a discussion that touched on linguistics, and I don't think that one could ask for a better popular introduction to the field. Pinker is one of the great minds of our age, and he writes in a very engaging way about the basis of language. We live in a golden age of popular books for linguistics, with Pinker and John McWhorter writing several books (Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, etc) in the field and great blogs like Language Log addressing both scholarly and popular items as well.

This book sparked my interest in the area and taught me so much about why we use language the way that we do. I was even able to explain to some of my Arab co-workers why they say some of the things that they do. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who has a curious mind. Even if you don't think that you could be interested in linguistics, after reading this, you very well might be. ( )
  briguybrn | Jan 14, 2018 |
(Rating: 4.0 /5.0, even) ( )
  rabbit.blackberry | Oct 19, 2017 |
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This book tries to illuminate the nature of language and mind by choosing a single phenomenon and examining it from every angle imaginable. (Preface)
Language comes so naturally to us that it is easy to forget what a strange and miraculous gift it is.
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"In Words and Rules, Pinker explains the profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively single phenomenon and examining it from every angle. The phenomenon - regular and irregular verbs - connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities: the history of languages; the theories of Noam Chomsky and his critics; the attempts to simulate language using computer simulations of neural networks; the illuminating errors of children as they begin to speak; the nature of human concepts; the peculiarities of the English language; major ideas in the history of Western philosophy; the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the living brain."--BOOK JACKET.

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