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Synopsis: "If you are not already a Steven Pinker addict, this book will make you one." --Jared Diamond
In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker explores profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple phenomenon--regular and irregular verbs--and examining it from every angle. With humor and verve, he covers an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities, from the history of languages to how to simulate languages on computers to major ideas in the history of Western philosophy.
Through it all, Pinker presents a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind.
This is a sparkling, eye-opening, and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.
Review: Human languages are capable of expressing a literally endless number of different ideas. How do we manage it--so effortlessly that we scarcely ever stop to think about it? In Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language, a look at the simple concepts that we use to devise works as complex as love sonnets and tax laws, renowned neuroscientist and linguist Steven Pinker shows us how. The latest linguistic research suggests that each of us stores a limited (though large) number of words and word-parts in memory and manipulates them with a much smaller number of rules to produce every writing and utterance, and Pinker explains every step of the way with engaging good humor.
Pinker's enthusiasm for the subject infects the reader, particularly as he emphasizes the relation between how we communicate and how we think. What does it mean that a small child who has never heard the word wug can tell a researcher that when one wug meets another, there are two wugs? Some rule must be telling the child that English plurals end in -s, which also explains mistakes like mouses. Is our communication linked inextricably with our thinking? Pinker says yes, and it's hard to disagree. Words and Rules is an excellent introduction to and overview of current thinking about language, and will greatly reward the careful reader with new ways of thinking about how we think, talk, and write. --Rob Lightner
Title: Words and Rules: The Ingredients Of Language
Publisher: Basic Books
Book Condition: Good
Book Description Basic Books, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Bookseller Inventory # S_203991718
Book Description Basic Books 2015-07-14, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Reprint. 0465072704 Very Good Condition - May show some limited signs of wear and may have a remainder mark. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States. **Heavier books will require additional postage for International**. Bookseller Inventory # PR-PB-VG-0465072704
Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 23258829-n
Book Description Perseus Books Group, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # KB-9780465072705
Book Description Perseus Books Group, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780465072705
Book Description BASIC BOOKS, 2015. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Good. TRADE PAPERBACK Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. History and Social Science>Linguistics>General. Book: USED, Good. Bookseller Inventory # 02978046507270503. Bookseller Inventory # 02978046507270503
Book Description BASIC BOOKS, 2015. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. TRADE PAPERBACK Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. May have small mark or shelf wear General. Book: REMAINDERS, Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 01978046507270512. Bookseller Inventory # 01978046507270512
Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 23MA3O00AF9O
Book Description The Perseus Books Group, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780465072705
Book Description Basic Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9780465072705