Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 19:59:12 -0400
From: "Bethany Dumas, UTK" DUMASB[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UTKVX.UTK.EDU
Subject: Re: myths about language
I am finally reading Pinker's _Language Instinct_. It presents a list of common misconceptions about language (pp. 17-18), then apparently (I have not
read the entire book yet) spends much of the rest of the book
1. language (L) is "man's [sic] most important cultural invention"
2. L is the "quintessential ex. of [human] capacity to use symbols"
3. L is "a biologically unprecedented event irrevocably separating
[humans] from other animals."
4. children learn to talk from role models and caregivers
5. sagging educ. standards have led to a debasement of standards,
6. English is utterly irrational
I have assigned the book as supplemental, required reading in Ling 200.