27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Narrower than 'The Language Instinct' but thought provoking,
By A Customer
This review is from: Words And Rules: The Ingredients of Language (SCIENCE MASTERS) (Paperback)
This is probably of less interest to the general reader then the deservedly popular "Labguage Instinct" in that it concentrates attention nearly all on regular and irregular verbs. However it still includes many very fascinating ideas about language and the brain and how they both reflect the nature of reality.
Pinker's basic premise is that the brain has the two different ways of working expressed in the title of the book- words and rules. In showing why he thinks the observed data are best explained by this dichotomy he covers the history of language, how language is processed by the brain, and two opposed theories of language: Chomsky as opposed to the distributed parallel processing model - see it is a little technical!
I am glad Pinker explains Chomsky because I am sure I would never be able to read him myself, even though I studied language at university. I also enjoy the way he writes, which is often funny, and hardly ever dull; and I find his scientific method and views on language and other matters to be both dispassionate and revealing.
I am hoping he will soon publish something else equally or more interesting.