The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

If you’ve ever wished you’d taken linguistics and never did, this would be the book for you. Pinker is intelligent, but more importantly is a master of illustrative examples for the layperson. However, the text is not “dumbed-down” and can be a challenge to any level of reader.

His viewpoint is already apparent by the title; the true value of awesome book is for introducing to the layperson linguistics and the depth of the kinds of questions that can be asked about language… these questions can be “beautiful,” and certainly most of us would not have thought of these issues themselves, yet after Pinker’s examples, it all makes wonderful sense, and is memorable and lucid. Whether or not the reader agrees with Pinker after becoming sophisticated upon further readings is not relevant; without The Language Instinct, Pinker’s engaging introduction to the field, many would never wish to become linguistically sophisticated in the first place!

You likely won’t find another book which presents the beauty & complexity of language with the ease of The Language Instinct. If you are to have but one book in your library on language, this should be the one. Enjoy!

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

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