LINGUIST List 25.3862

Thu Oct 02 2014

Books: The Language Myth: Evans

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <>

Date: 01-Oct-2014
From: Joyce Reid <>
Subject: The Language Myth: Evans
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Title: The Language Myth
Subtitle: Why Language Is Not an Instinct
Published: 2014
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Vyvyan Evans
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107619753 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 27.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107619753 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 17.99

Language is central to our lives, the cultural tool that arguably sets us apart from other species. Some scientists have argued that language is innate, a type of unique human 'instinct' pre-programmed in us from birth. In this book, Vyvyan Evans argues that this received wisdom is, in fact, a myth. Debunking the notion of a language 'instinct', Evans demonstrates that language is related to other animal forms of communication; that languages exhibit staggering diversity; that we learn our mother tongue drawing on general properties and abilities of the human mind, rather than an inborn 'universal' grammar; that language is not autonomous but is closely related to other aspects of our mental lives; and that, ultimately, language and the mind reflect and draw upon the way we interact with others in the world. Compellingly written and drawing on cutting-edge research, The Language Myth sets out a forceful alternative to the received wisdom, showing how language and the mind really work.

Acknowledgements; 1. Language and mind rethought; 2. Is human language unrelated to animal communication systems?; 3. Are there language universals?; 4. Is language innate?; 5. Is language a distinct module in the mind?; 6. Is there a universal Mentalese?; 7. Is thought independent of language?; 8. Language and mind regained.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            Cognitive Science
                            Linguistic Theories

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cascadilla Press
Classiques Garnier
De Gruyter Mouton
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd
Equinox Publishing Ltd
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Georgetown University Press
John Benjamins
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Multilingual Matters
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang AG
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
University of Toronto Press

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Association of Finland
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Seoul National University
SIL International Publications
Universitat Jaume I
University of Nebraska Press
Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 02-Oct-2014