Pediatric Therapy Corner: The Key to Language is Universal Psychology, not Universal Grammar
[Source: The Conversation]
by Paul Ibbotson
What makes language special is part of what makes us special, so understanding what language is made of and how we learn it brings us closer to our human nature.
Is language special because it runs on its own unique piece of mental software written into our DNA? Or is it because it recycles existing components of our mind, like memory and categorization, for the purpose of communication?
That is the question I set out to answer in my new book, What It Takes To Talk. In it, I show the power and subtlety with which psychology shapes our language, calling into question the need for an innate universal grammar.
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