The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language

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by Christine Kenneally

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.

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“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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