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Paper Requirements
8-10 complete pages (minimum), typed, double-spaced 12 pt font, MLA format and layout.
-Only use citations/works cited page if citing sources other than course materials.Direction:In his acclaimed book “The Language Instinct,” Stephen Pinker presents an accessible
yet eloquent introduction to and argument for the Nativist approach to language which is
based on the seminal works of Noam Chomsky. Early in the book, Pinker argues that, contrary
to other disciplines that view language as a mere cultural and environmental phenomena,
language is instead a “distinct piece of the biological make-up of our brains” that is “no more a
cultural invention than is upright posture.” Pinker points out that thinking of language as an
instinct inverts popular wisdom and common sense, challenging or contradicting most people’s
impressions, assumptions and attitudes about the nature of language and how we come to use
it the way that we do.
In this paper, I would like you to briefly respond to a very general question: how has
Pinker (and this course) influenced or changed your attitudes and thinking about language and
how you acquire it and use it in your everyday life? You should begin this paper by explaining
your attitudes and thinking about language before having read Pinker’s ” The Language
Instinct.” Then, respond to any or all of the following questions: Explain whether or not your
attitudes and thinking towards language have changed? How have they changed? What
evidence/arguments/phenomena led you to change your views? How have your assumptions
and impressions changed in relation to how other people use language?


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