The 'Language Instinct' Debate: Revised Edition
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'.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
academic acquire adult argued argument aspects behaviour believe Bergson Bickerton biological BNC/demographic brain British National Corpus Chapter child Chomsky's claim clause cognitive colour common complex creative cultural debate Derek Bickerton Descartes discussed dualism empiricist English evolution evolutionary examples experience explain fact genetic Genie Geoffrey Pullum Gopnik grammar human language hypotaxis hypotheses ideas individual innate knowledge innateness position instance intellectual Jackendoff Karl Popper knowledge of language language acquisition Language Instinct language learning language universals linguistic nativism linguistic nativists logical mental mind mother tongue nature Noam Chomsky noun organisms philosopher phrase physical pidgin plural Popper Popperian possible poverty-of-data predictions properties protolanguage Pullum quoted Ray Jackendoff reader reason refute relevant Russenorsk S-within-MS questions scientific seems sense sentences sequence Simon sounds speakers specific speech Steven Pinker structure-independent suggests theory things tree structuring true University Press utterances verb words writings X-bar theory