The Language Instinct - Chapter 2: Chatterboxes Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 2: Chatterboxes

Pinker talks about the discovery of civilization in New Guinea in 1930. A prospector, searching for gold, had stumbled upon the mesa on which a previously unidentified tribe was living. The people approached the prospector and his team, jabbering with excitement all the while. The "jabbering" was actually a previously unknown language. Other civilizations would be similarly discovered and observed throughout the 1960s. Pinker tells how the tribe observed these people to determine if they were reincarnated ancestors or gods. It was soon determined that they were equally human.

"The universality of complex language is a discovery that fills linguists with awe, and this is the first reason to suspect that language is not just any cultural invention but the product of a special human instinct." Chap. 2, p. 26

Pinker discusses the differences in vernacular and compares Standard American English to Black English...

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This section contains 495 words
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