ISBN 9781846840937,The Language Instinct Debate: The definitive response to Pinkers book and Chomskyan nativism in general

The Language Instinct Debate: The definitive response to Pinkers book and Chomskyan nativism in general

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ISBN 9781846840937
Publisher

Continuum International Publishing Group

Publication Year 2007
ISBN-13

ISBN 9781846840937

ISBN-10 1846840937
Binding

Paper Back

Number of Pages 238 Pages
Language (English)
Subject

Literature fiction

When it was first published in 1997, Geoffrey Sampson¯s Educating Eve was described as the definitive response to Steven Pinker¯s The Language Instinct and Noam Chomsky¯s nativism. In this revised and expanded new edition, Sampson revisits his original arguments in the light of fresh evidence that has emerged since the original publication. Since Chomsky revolutionized the study of language in the 1960s, it has increasingly come to be accepted that language and other knowledge structures are hard-wired in our genes. According to this view, human beings are born with a rich structure of cognition already in place. But people do not realize how thin the evidence for that idea is. The ¯Language Instinct¯ Debate examines the various arguments for instinctive knowledge, and finds that each one rests on false premisses or embodies logical fallacies. The structures of language are shown to be purely cultural creations. With a new chapter entitled ¯How People Really Speak¯ which uses corpus data to analyse how language is used in spontaneous English conversation, responses to critics, extensive revisions throughout, and a new preface by Paul Postal of New York University, this new edition will be an essential purchase for students, academics, and general readers interested in the debate about the ¯language instinct¯

About the Author
Geoffrey Sampson is Professor of Natural Computing in the department of Informatics, University of Sussex.

Table of Contents
Preface
Culture or Biology?
The Original Arguments for a Language Instinct
How People Really Speak
The Debate Renewed
Language Structure Turns Queen¯s Evidence
The Creative Mind
Conclusion
Notes
Index
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