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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution

Language The Cultural Tool

By: Daniel L Everett(Author)
351 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Profile Books
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  • Language ISBN: 9781846682681 Paperback Mar 2013 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £12.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Like other tools, language was invented, can be reinvented or lost, and shows significant variation across cultures. It's as essential to survival as fire – and, like fire, is found in all human societies.

Language presents the bold and controversial idea that language is not an innate component of the brain, as has been famously argued by Chomsky and Pinker. Rather, it's a cultural tool which varies much more across different societies than the innateness view suggests.

Fusing adventure, anthropology, linguistics and psychology, and drawing on Everett's pioneering research with the Amazonian Pirahãs, Language argues that language is embedded within – and is inseparable from – its specific culture. Language: The Cultural Tool is like a fire that will generate much light. And much heat.

Customer Reviews


Daniel Everett is Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Massachusetts. Previously, he was Chair of the department of languages, literatures and cultures at Illinois State University. He is the author of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes (Profile).

By: Daniel L Everett(Author)
351 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Profile Books
Media reviews

"Impressively modest and reasoned [...] deserves a serious reading"

"Revelatory. There is nothing about humans that is quite as astonishing as language"

"A book whose importance is almost impossible to overstate. This is an intellectual cri de coeur and a profound celebration of human diversity [...] A very rich but also very readable book"
Sunday Times

"The most important – and provocative – anthropological field work ever undertaken"
– Tom Wolfe

"Controversial, driven by data from across the sciences, and leavened with wit – Language: The Cultural Tool is the book on language I have been waiting and waiting for. A masterpiece, and then some"
– Patricia S. Churchland

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