The Atoms of Language

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Basic Books, 2001 - 276 páginas
Whether all human languages are fundamentally the same or different has been a subject of debate for ages. This problem has deep philosophical implications: If languages are all the same, it implies a fundamental commonality-and thus the mutual intelligibility-of human thought.We are now on the verge of answering this question. Using a twenty-year-old theory proposed by the world's greatest living linguist, Noam Chomsky, researchers have found that the similarities among languages are more profound than the differences. Languages whose grammars seem completely incompatible may in fact be structurally almost identical, except for a difference in one simple rule. The discovery of these rules and how they may vary promises to yield a linguistic equivalent of the Periodic Table of the Elements: a single framework by which we can understand the fundamental structure of all human language. This is a landmark breakthrough, both within linguistics, which will thereby become a full-fledged science for the first time, and in our understanding of the human mind.

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LibraryThing Review

Reseña de usuario  - misterO - LibraryThing

Very good intro to a fairly advanced (but exciting) topic in linguistics: The Atoms of Language by Mark Baker One way of looking at this book is that it deals with what Mr. Baker calls the “Navajo ... Leer reseña completa

LibraryThing Review

Reseña de usuario  - caffron - LibraryThing

I am not a linguist; I've encountered bits and pieces in popular cognitive science works. This book gave me an incredible amount of information, in painstaking detail. It did seem to me, however, that ... Leer reseña completa

Índice

The Discovery of Atoms
19
Samples Versus Recipes
51
Baking a Polysynthetic Language
85
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Sobre el autor (2001)

Mark C. Baker is a professor in the Department of Linguistics and the Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers University. He lives in Camden, New Jersey.

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