Steven's Reviews > The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language

The First Word by Christine Kenneally
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's review
Jan 31, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: language, nonfiction
Read from January 30 to February 08, 2011

A most interesting book, although it wasn't what I expected at all. I had expected an examination of the origins of language using historical linguistics, perhaps using computer algorithms to attempt to determine the origin of all the languages. This was nothing of the sort. This is biology, psychology, and anthropology all examining questions concerning how language came to be in the first place. The relationships between language, cognition, and culture are explored. There are myriad results of studies recounted, most of which are very interesting indeed. Toward the end of the book the idea that language is like a virus and evolves and spreads like a one is introduced. Quite a few questions. Many ideas. Not really an answers.

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