Ascent of Babel An Exploration of Language, Mind, and Understanding

ISBN-10: 0198523777

ISBN-13: 9780198523772

Edition: 1998

Authors: Gerry T. M. Altmann, Andrea Enzinger

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Description:

Language is one of the faculties that sets humans apart from animals, the crucial thing which makes our complex social interactions possible. The Ascent of Babel explores the ways in which the mind produces and understands language: the ways in which the sounds of language evoke meaning, and the ways in which the desire to communicate causes us to produce those sounds to begin with. The `ascent' symbolises different things: the progression from sound to meaning, the ascent that we each undergo, from birth onwards, as we learn our mother tongue, and the quest to understand the mental processes which underlie our use of language. Gerry Altmann leads the reader on this ascent - a fascinating tour which takes us from babies learning to say words to the production of spoken and written language, the effects of brain damage on language, and the ways in which computer simulations of interconnecting nerve cells can learn language. The Ascent of Babel is a journey of discovery, written in an engaging and witty style, at the end of which it becomes clear that Babel's summit - the secret of language - may actually lie at its foundations, where babies play and language is learned.
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Book details

List price: $63.00
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/6/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

In the beginning
Looking towards Babel
Babies, birth, and language
Chinchillas do it too
Words, and what we learn to do with them
Organizing the dictionary
Words, and how we (eventually) find them
Time flies like an arrow
Who did what, and to whom?
On the meaning of meaning
Exercising the vocal organs
The written word
When it all goes wrong
Wiring-up a brain
The descent from Babel
Biblilography
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