In Words and Rules, Steven Pinker explores profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple phenomenon -- regular and irregular verbs -- and examining it from every angle. With humor and verve, he covers an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities, from the history of languages to how to simulate languages on computers to major ideas in the history of Western philosophy.
Through it all, Pinker presents a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules. The idea extends beyond language and offers insight into the very nature of the human mind.
This is a sparkling, eye-opening, and utterly original book by one of the world's leading cognitive scientists.
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About the Author
Date of Birth:September 18, 1954
Place of Birth:Montreal, Canada
Education:B.A., McGill University, 1976; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1979
Table of Contents
1. The Infinite Library
2. Dissection by Linguistics
3. Broken Telephone
4. In Single Combat
5. Word Nerds
6. Of Mice and Men
7. Kids Say the Darnedest Things
8. The Horrors of the German Language
9. The Black Box
10. A Digital Mind in an Analog World