Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: The Atoms of Language
Subtitle: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar
Written By: Mark C. Baker

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 mutual intelligibility--of human thought. We are now
on the verge of solving this problem. 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 herewith finally become a full-fledged science, and
in our understanding of the human mind.

Publication Year: 2001
Publisher: Basic Books
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0465005217
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: U.S. $ $28.00