The Language Myth: Why Language Is Not an Instinct

Cambridge University Press
2
Free sample

Language is central to our lives, the cultural tool that arguably sets us apart from other species. Some scientists have argued that language is innate, a type of unique human 'instinct' pre-programmed in us from birth. In this book, Vyvyan Evans argues that this received wisdom is, in fact, a myth. Debunking the notion of a language 'instinct', Evans demonstrates that language is related to other animal forms of communication; that languages exhibit staggering diversity; that we learn our mother tongue drawing on general properties and abilities of the human mind, rather than an inborn 'universal' grammar; that language is not autonomous but is closely related to other aspects of our mental lives; and that, ultimately, language and the mind reflect and draw upon the way we interact with others in the world. Compellingly written and drawing on cutting-edge research, The Language Myth sets out a forceful alternative to the received wisdom, showing how language and the mind really work.
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About the author

Vyv Evans is Professor of Linguistics in the School of Linguistics and English Language at Bangor University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Sep 22, 2014
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Pages
317
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ISBN
9781316123591
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Psycholinguistics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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