1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
back to his best,
By A Customer
This review is from: Words And Rules (Science Masters) (Paperback)
This book is a return to form for Steven Pinker after the somewhat disappointing 'How the Mind Works'. It could be because he's back to what he knows best- how we learn languages and the consequences of this for the psychology and philosophy of mind- but I think it's mainly because that last book broke the cardinal rule of popular science books: it had no story. This one certainly does, the story of how scientist have investigated the how and why of regular and irregular verbs. Why do both forms exist? Why do children, language learners and certain brain damaged people have problems learning one or the other form? What does this tell us about how the brain is organised more generally? Steven Pinker gives a fascinating account of scientists' research into these and other questions involved with 'Words and Rules'.
I'd still recommend 'The Language Instinct' more as a first read on the subject, but if you liked that you'll like this too, and I would rate 'The Language Instinct' as the best popular science book since 'Chaos' by James Gleick.