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The First Word

The Search for the Origins of Language

Christine Kenneally - Author

Paperback | $17.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780143113744 | 368 pages | 27 May 2008 | Penguin | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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An accessible exploration of a burgeoning new field: the incredible evolution of language

The first popular book to recount the exciting, very recent developments in tracing the origins of language, The First Word is at the forefront of a controversial, compelling new field. Acclaimed science writer Christine Kenneally explains how a relatively small group of scientists that include Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker assembled the astounding narrative of how the fundamental process of evolution produced a linguistic ape—in other words, us. Infused with the wonder of discovery, this vital and engrossing book offers us all a better understanding of the story of humankind.

“ A clear and splendidly written account of a new field of research on a central question about the human species.”
—Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate

“ A crash course on imitation, gesture, abstract thought, and speech. . . . It is eminently worthy of attention.”
Psychology Today

“ Scientists who study the origins of language are a passionate, fractious bunch, and you don’t have to be an egghead to be tantalized by the questions that drive their research: how and when did we learn to speak, and to what extent is language a uniquely human attribute? What [Kenneally] describes is fascinating.”
The New York Times Book Review


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