From the Bookshelf of Brain Science Podcast

The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention
Start date
September 1, 2013
Finish date
September 28, 2013
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Why we're reading this
It explains the evolution of languages, from those with case systems like Sanskrit and Latin, to preposit…more

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What Members Thought

John Brown
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can highly recommend it. I started (but did not finish) a PhD in Computational Linguistics, and was put off by the unnecessary complexity of Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Since then I have read a lot of linguistic books to try to understand the motivation for such complexity.
Deutscher keeps things simple, whilst answering all sort of questions that had occurred to me concerning the evolution of languages. The level of treatment is just a bit deeper than Pinker's "The Language Instinct"
Karen Chung
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book in fact reflects many thoughts and ideas that I have had about language and language evolution over the years - but the author has actually developed them and presents them in a reader-friendly, even enjoyable form. I think this volume would be an excellent supplementary text for an introduction to linguistics course - and I may use it in this way next time I teach such a course. It was the most-often suggested book in the Bedtime Readings in Linguistics list that I updated for the LIN ...more
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