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The Ascent of Babel – An Exploration of Language, Mind, and Understanding - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Ascent of Babel: An Exploration of Language, Mind, and Understanding

Gerry T. M. Altmann


Language is one of the faculties that sets humans apart from animals, the crucial thing which makes our complex social interactions possible. This book explores the ways in which the mind produces and understands language: the ways in which the sounds of language evoke meaning, and the ways in which the desire to communicate causes us to produce those sounds to begin with. The ‘ascent’ symbolises different things: the progression from sound to meaning, the ascent that we each undergo, from birth onwards, as we learn our mother tongue, and the quest to understand the mental processes which unde ... More

Keywords: mind and language, sound and meaning, babies and language, spoken language, written language, brain damage, computer-simulated language

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1998 Print ISBN-13: 9780198523772
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523772.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gerry T. M. Altmann, author
University of York