Re: Human language (long)

John A. Halloran (
10 Jan 1997 00:41:01 -0700

In article <> (Noel Dickover) writes:

>I think you may want to spend the time to read Steven Pinker's book, "The
>Language Instinct". Pinker, a linguist and cognitive pyschologist,
>provides more than ample evidence to prove that in fact language is
>instinctual. In addition to many detailed experiments, Pinker includes
>evidence of recently created creole languages, and the modification of
>scientifically developed sign languages by the second generation of
>speakers, in which the deaf children, largely independent of contact with
>one another, all modified the sign language in the same way to be a
>"real" language.

Actually, I have read almost all of Pinker's very long and dense book.
Nowhere in it did I find anything but evidence for how the brain/mind thinks
and uses logic (aka syntax). In fact, I found the reference to the young
child who, missing his left hemisphere, had his right hemisphere acquire
language in an only slightly degraded fashion in Pinker's book. I don't think
all his vast material is fully integrated in his own mind.

Share with me, please, what argument(s) for spoken language being instinctual
you personally find most persuasive.


John Halloran