The Atoms of Language
The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar
By (author) Mark C. Baker
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Atoms of Language by Mark C. Baker
Book DescriptionWhether 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 mutual intelligibility--of human thought.We are now on the verge of solving this problem. 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 herewith finally become a full-fledged science, and in our understanding of the human mind.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780465005222
(203mm x 127mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 17-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Mark C. Baker
Soul Hypothesis, Paperback (February 2011)
What do we mean when we speak about the soul? What are the arguments for the existence of the soul as distinct from the physical body? Do animals have souls? What is the difference between the mind and the soul? This book features experts from philosophy, linguistics and science to discuss the validity of these questions in the modern world.
Syntax of Agreement and Concord, Paperback (February 2008)
Develops a theory of the agreement processes found in language.
Lexical Categories, Paperback (March 2003)
This book investigates the fundamental nature of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
Polysynthesis Parameter, Paperback (September 1995)» View all books by Mark C. Baker
This study argues that polysynthetic languages - in which verbs are built up of many parts and where one verb can act as a whole sentence - are more than an accidental collection of morphological processes; rather they adopt a systematic way of representing predicate-argument relationships.
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Author Biography - Mark C. Baker
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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