6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Cool . . . . but wrong,
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This review is from: The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language: The New Science of Language and Mind (Penguin Science) (Paperback)
I first read this book ten years ago when I started teaching English in various parts of the world. I thought it a wonder. We are hard-wired for grammar; it must be true. My students in Europe, Asia and the Middle-East begged to differ.
Now I'm studying for an MA in Linguistics and I beg to differ too.
Still, I think you should read this book; it's a fine piece of propaganda. Then read Jean Aitchison's 'The Articulate Mammal'; Reith lecturer, Oxford prof and so forth. Not so cool . . . but right.
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Initial post: 1 Oct 2010 13:43:00 BDT
What you neglect is that Aitchison mostly agrees with the existence of a language module. She even wrote an entire book about how this module could possibly have evolved - Seeds of Speech - going right down to the level of the evolution of the three basic vowels. This isn't a controversial book at all, and it's very strange to see so many reviews saying that this book reads well but is fundamentally wrong. This is actually as correct a popular account of language as you are going to find.
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