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The Language Instinct: The Science of Language and Mind (Anglais)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.

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Biographie de l'auteur

One of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World Today," Steven Pinker is the author of seven books, including How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate—both Pulitzer Prize finalists and winners of the William James Book Award. He is an award-winning researcher and teacher, and a frequent contributor to Time and the New York Times.

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Par PL le 7 décembre 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Steven Pinker a une façon très intéressante de présenter les résultats des recherches dans l'acquisition du langage chez l'enfant. J'ai aussi adoré "The sense of style" du même auteur et sa conception pragmatique de la grammaire.
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Audio est bonne, mais se rendre compte que 40% de la livre est de nature symbolique. Après avoir écouté l'audio, je l'ai acheté le texte que je puisse voir et avoir une bonne référence à un grand nombre de pages symboliques.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 210 commentaires
359 internautes sur 371 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 book's good, but STAY AWAY FROM KINDLE EDITION! 31 mai 2011
Par Eduardo Vila - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This is not a review of the book itself, just a warning for anyone thinking of getting the Kindle edition.

The people who published this for Kindle should be ashamed of themselves for selling this product with a straight face.

As Kindle books are often scanned from printed versions, I'v grown accustomed to seeing the occasional mis-scanned word, as they are usually sparse and don't distract from the content.

This book, however, contains hundreds of mis-scans. I'm talking about a few every page (some pages might contain up to 10 errors). And these are errors that routinely distract from the content of the book, as the errors will sometime spell a different word altogether, giving a sentence a completely different meaning that you will only realize is nonsensical after reading an entire paragraph.

Plus, 2 times out of ten, the combination of letters "th" will be scanned as "di". As you must realize, die difficulty of reading dirough paragraphs full of diese errors, in die kindle version of diis book, dioroughly distracts from the enjoyment of die material.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Great Book, but a Flawed E-book Version 26 avril 2015
Par Amanda Reckonwith - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This is a review of the 2010 Kindle edition of the book published by HarperCollins e-books. Without a doubt Pinker has written a five-star book that is both eye-opening and enjoyable. Out of appreciation to the author, I deducted only one star for errors in the Kindle edition. Since Pinker's book was originally published back in 1994, and by a different publisher, it seems conceivable that HarperCollins did not have a digital text and had to resort to scanning with OCR or some kind of not completely successful conversion process. How else to explain errors like those below? (Not a complete list, but what I thought to highlight as I read through.)

• that had seemed passé concern with topics (“that had seemed passé; concern with topics”)
• opiuminduced “(opium-induced”)
• painti (not i on the end, but subscript 1)
• S -> then S (apparently this should be “S -> if S then S”)
• mittengrabben. 1st (“mittengrabben. Ist” [letter i, not number 1])
• put xin the (“put x in the”)
• @@@ (no telling what this should be, but previously it appears as “m” with an acute accent)
• big nourish things (“big nounish things”)
• Astem (surely Pinker wrote “A-stem” or subscripted “stem”)
• Astemaffix (as above)
• fell to thinking, and chunk. (“fell to thinking, and thunk.”)
• out-Sally-Bided Sally Ride (“out-Sally-Rided Sally Ride”)
• VP -> VNP(PP) (“VP -> V NP (PP)”)
• Steven Tinker’s (even the author’s name is not immune)
• King Ethelbuld (“King Ethelbald”)
• a sad and urgent more. (“a sad and urgent note.”)
• A1 Galaburda (“Al Galaburda” [letter L, not number 1])
• and would not into nothing (“and would rot into nothing”)
• something in he world (“something in the world”)
• analyze the verb to broadcasts (“analyze the verb to broadcast as”)
• No one would say give In break (“No one would say give I a break” [with the words after "say" in italics])
• person off gender (“person of gender”)
• trout is a kind offish and (“trout is a kind of fish and”)
• about twelves times as large (“about twelve times as large”)

In a book with many playful and unusual examples of language, one can’t tell, since the e-book can’t be trusted, whether expressions like “isa” or “American Slurvian” are what Pinker intended, or simply more examples of poor editing. On the positive side, the publisher has evidently cleaned up the Kindle version to some extent, judging from the details in someone else’s 2011 review. Given Amazon’s ability to reach into my Kindle and swap files, I am hoping to find a corrected version of Pinker’s book there soon.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wish I had written this one! 22 janvier 2014
Par DrWes - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A cogently presented argument for a language instinct. I hold a Ph.D., not in linguistics, but in criminal justice decision makiing, and I am convinced that before Edward O. Wilson's attempt to bring order to the psychosocial sciences with biological theory, these sciences were in the thrall of "rolethink" and choking on a plethora of "theories" but not one -- not one -- that could meet the standards of even Darwin's original theory. Alice still speaks to them: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words [the reader may substitute 'theories'] mean so many different things." With so many "theores" to explain one simple event, no wonder psychosocial scientists turned to factor analysis and post hoc theorizing. And you don't discover findings like those presented by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson in The Truth about Cinderella with Rolethink. In The Language Instinct, Pinker may not have captured the one exact formula that the brain uses to generate all languages, but he seems to me to be on the right track. Critics must ask, Is there a better explanation? Amazingly, he manages to present what to most people would be a difficult and boring subject in a lively manner that keeps a reader smiling and reading. His later book, How the MInd Works, presents a broader canvas for his views. He must have been one heck of a teacher.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Language for Everyone 27 avril 2013
Par Grewal - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Steven Pinker is a professor at Harvard College as well as a professor in evolutionary psychology and computational theory of mind at Harvard University. Even though Pinker is very specific and technical in his experimental work, Pinker writes his books for the general audience to read. Steven Pinker used experimental subjects in the fields of mental imagery, shape recognition, as well as visual attention. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language is a book I would recommend to an interested audience because the unique methods Pinker takes advantage of such as visual sentences, vocabulary lists, and example words help get across information to his readers in unique ways.
The central idea that The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language really highlights is that humans are born with an instinct for language. The definition of innate is inborn or originating in the mind. The book really emphasizes that the instinct of language is innate. The key point that Steven Pinker makes about language being instinct is that language is not new, but it is there and ready to be learned by humans when they are born.
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language covers many broad topics such as evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, and behavioral genetics. The book is written in a very interesting style. Not only were the above topics discussed and analyzed by Pinker with words, Pinker also used visuals to help convey his important points about the topics. The visuals that Pinker used include sentence structure equations, which included multiple words for different scenarios. Another visual used was a tree diagram to help form the structure of the sentence. The interesting part of the style was that it was universal for all humans because it is innate, and humans learn language the in the same methods. Through the many examples Pinker gives to help illustrate to the audience how language is innate, he also makes a claim that language is not only innate, but language is the result of natural selection and actually evolved over time. Steven Pinker highlights throughout the novel that language is really an adaptation that benefits humans in the ways of communication.
The concepts in The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language relate to the classroom in various ways, but they most important way they link to class is the concepts of learning and innate traits. In class we discussed short-term learning, long-term learning, as well as traits being innate or instinctual. In class we have also learned about natural selection and adaptations. In The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, language is considered an adaptation in which this adaptation was achieved through natural selection. If language really does act as an adaptation for humans, then the three things necessary for natural selection that include groups of organisms with variation of traits, traits must be heritable, traits must give survival and or reproductive advantages really do function universally for all things undergoing natural selection.
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language is a book meant for all audiences with self-interest in language as a topic. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language is not a very advanced book in neuroscience or in language at all. No prior background information really needs to be known for a reader to understand this book. Steven Pinker does a great job at providing readers with all the background information they may need, and then elaborates on it. In the beginning of the book, Pinker looks to find a mutual ground about language by providing common examples about misunderstood topics such as questioning the reader to understand how language is so overlooked, and if the reader even realizes how they are able to understand what he is writing. Steven Pinker does a good job at filtering almost all technical parts of the book in a way for a very broad audience to understand it. When Pinker begins to discuss prefixes and suffixes, he analyzes why humans use certain suffixes or prefixes when either could work. To help make Pinker's audience understand the topic of suffixes, Pinker uses a broken down tree diagram to help depict why a certain suffix is used compared to another. With this tree diagram serving as a visual aid, Pinker really gets his point across of why a certain suffix is used because the visual aid breaks down word meanings and even how to say it with the use of your tongue.
The science behind Steven Pinker's claims seem very consistent with his examples that make readers pronounce words with directions, analyze simplified tree diagrams, as well as analyzing sentences with varied verbs in different tenses. The science is accurate and valid because Pinker has done his own research as well as referencing other renowned scientists to help support his general premises. The arguments Pinker makes about how language is very instinctual, and can be picked up very easily especially at a young age is very well constructed through sort of a simple to complex scale. Pinker states his general premises to be that language is innate and has been evolved over many years. Steven Pinker stays with his general premises, and offers an abundance of supporting claims and evidence. The presentation of neuroscience in this book is very simple, and I had no problem understanding any aspect of it because Pinker does a great job at simplifying considerably advanced ideas about language that includes ancestral genes and evolutionary psychology. I would recommend anyone with self-interest in the topic of language to buy and read this book because it will broaden your perspective on one of the most overlooked innate tools that allow for communication among humans.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Pinker's treatment of linguistics is a bit scientific at worst but insightful and provoking leaving the listener with a ... 16 juillet 2016
Par Keith - Publié sur
Format: MP3 CD Achat vérifié
Pinker's treatment of linguistics is a bit scientific at worst but insightful and provoking leaving the listener with a mindful. Well worth the listening. My first encounter with this was at the library. I had to have it.
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