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The Atoms of Language: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar
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The Atoms of Language: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar Hardcover - 2001

by Mark C. Baker; Mark Baker


From the publisher

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.

First line

DEEP MYSTERIES OF LANGUAGE are illustrated by an incident that occurred in 1943, when the Japanese military was firmly entrenched around the Bismarck Archipelago.

Details

  • Title The Atoms of Language: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar
  • Author Mark C. Baker; Mark Baker
  • Binding Hardcover
  • Edition First Edition
  • Pages 288
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Basic Books, New York
  • Date October 2, 2001
  • Illustrated Yes
  • ISBN 9780465005215 / 0465005217
  • Weight 1.21 lbs (0.55 kg)
  • Dimensions 9.59 x 6.45 x 1.04 in (24.36 x 16.38 x 2.64 cm)
  • Reading level 1240
  • Library of Congress subjects Language and languages
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 2001035936
  • Dewey Decimal Code 400

About the author

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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