The Language Instinct - Study Guide Chapter 8: The Tower of Babel Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 8: The Tower of Babel

Pinker refers to the Tower of Babel several times in the preceding chapters. The beginning of the chapter starts with a lengthy quote from Genesis, which begins:

"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech." Chap. 8, p. 231

The gist of the passage is that the people built the Tower of Babel to be close to Heaven. God felt threatened by the mounting power of the people so he cast them around the world and created many languages so that the people would be confounded and could not confer with each other.

There have been many theological debates regarding this story and the confounding of the language. Chomsky states that a Martian might think that all of the languages sound the same. Many have asked themselves where the languages...

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