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  • The Language Instinct

  • How the Mind Creates Language
  • By: Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 18 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (196 ratings)

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The Language Instinct cover art

The Language Instinct

By: Steven Pinker
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
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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.

©2011 Steven Pinker (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

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

What listeners say about The Language Instinct

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rk
  • 02-09-18

Awful narration ruined a good book

Really interesting subject matter, totally ruined by a monotone robotic voice.i can't listen to this book. Disappointed.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful look at what makes us human

I struggled to remember lots of it but the ideas, concepts and more importantly why some people may struggle with language stuck. I liked the games, rhymes and paradoxes.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

recognition

The book describes our language.
How we learn, speak and should speak.
I have recognised my path of speaking and learning languages.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So much science i don't even

What did you like most about The Language Instinct?

All the science therein.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Stephen Pinker. I think his hair is fabulous.

What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

I liked his mouth words.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The bit about the pixie children is probably the bit that sticks most in my mind.

Any additional comments?

Good book. Read it. (Or listen to it as the case may be).

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good

didn't realize language had so much to it! understanding the similarly to creature development and Darwinism theory was good.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Endlessly fascinating

A brilliant book full of learning and erudition. Ad often with Pinker, some sections get a little involved particularly for an audio book but overall a masterful piece of work.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional reasoning via metaphorical description

First science book I read years ago that fulfilled my hunger for more knowledge about language and set me on a journey of more discovery still sticks up and i will gladly return to it again and again.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

interesting subject spoiled by narration

I was excited to listen to this audio book as the subject fascinates me. Sadly the totally wrong narrator was used and I can't listen to it.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

lots of boring long lists

spends ages just reading every entry on big tables when the point is clear after 2 or 3 examples. this doesn't work well as an audio book

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4 people found this helpful