book hack

The Language Instinct

Steven Pinker

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

The Language Instinct takes you on an adventure into the world of linguistics and argues that we're born with an innate ability to understand languages, that most are more similar than we might think, and investigates the origins of our ability to communicate.


The Language Instinct

The Language Instinct

by Steven Pinker


Steven Pinker writes on a great variety of subjects, yet does so with a diligence that remains tough to match. After diving deep into his research, he comes up with interesting afterthoughts and conclusions that redefine the world of language and communication and give us insight into the way our brains work.

In The Language Instinct, Pinker tries to understand why humans are the only species that uses language, why we've mastered the art of communication, and how we learn to process words and sentences at an early age. For him, humans have an innate language instinct, which allows them to tackle communication on an unprecedented level.

Favorite quote

Humans are so innately hardwired for language that they can no more suppress their ability to learn and use language than they can suppress the instinct to pull a hand back from a hot surface.

- Steven Pinker

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