The Language Instinct

  • by Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 18 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"Pinker writes with acid verve." (Atlantic Monthly)
"An extremely valuable book, very informative, and very well written." (Noam Chomsky)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

WHoa !!!!!!!!!!

I listened "The Better Angels of our Nature" and LOVED it so naturally I wanted to listen to more of Pinker's books. This one went right over me so fast, my head is still spinning.

Dr. Pinker is a Harvard Professor, an expert in many things, and has a talent for explaining things. This book hit the first two descriptions full blast but as far as explaining things? Well, he talked about so many grammar terms I don't think I've ever heard of let alone understood. This book is sentence diagramming on steroids.

But hey, he's a Harvard Prof and the closest I've ever been to Cambridge MA is a weekend in Boston.

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- Kathy

Language is truly the gift of the gods.

Would you try another book from Steven Pinker and/or Arthur Morey?

Yes, he certainly puts his case together well and thoroughly.

What was most disappointing about Steven Pinker’s story?

I didn't have the intellectual ability to understand or remember some of his case.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, the narration is excellent to present this kind of study.

Did The Language Instinct inspire you to do anything?

Yes, try and beat the idea that I will never speak another language like a native. The argument Steven Pinker puts is solid, but I like the challenge to try.

Any additional comments?

I never realised how language is the key indicator to us humans being top of the pecking order or how we all seem to think what is good language, but what really is a never ending changing, developing and growing form of communication. Steven Pinker takes us from concepts to mouthing words, from grammar to history of languages. From the child to the adult and why apes don't talk. It is a good intellectual book to listen to. I enjoyed the book even though I am not at the level in my thinking to fully understand all that was presented. Nicely phrased though.

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- Michael "Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-06-2011
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio