The Interactional Instinct

The Interactional Instinct : The Evolution and Acquisition of Language

4.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author)  , By (author)  , By (author)  , By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


The Interactional Instinct explores the evolution of language from the theoretical view that language could have emerged without a biologically instantiated Universal Grammar. In the first part of the book, the authors speculate that a hominid group with a lexicon of about 600 words could combine these items to make larger meanings. Combinations that are successfully produced, comprehended, and learned become part of the language. Any combination that is incompatible with human mental capacities is abandoned. The authors argue for the emergence of language structure through interaction constrained by human psychology and physiology. In the second part of the book, the authors argue that language acquisition is based on an "interactional instinct" that emotionally entrains the infant on caregivers. This relationship provides children with a motivational and attentional mechanism that ensures their acquisition of language. In adult second language acquisition, the interactional instinct is no longer operating, but in some individuals with sufficient aptitude and motivation, successful second-language acquisition can be achieved. The Interactional Instinct presents a theory of language based on linguistic, evolutionary, and biological evidence indicating that language is a culturally inherited artifact that requires no a priori hard wiring of linguistic more

Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 18mm | 399.16g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 11 black and white half tone, 7 line illustrations
  • 0195384237
  • 9780195384239
  • 951,871

About Namhee Lee

Namhee Lee: Visiting Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Defense Language Institute Anna Dina L. Joaquin: doctoral student, Applied Linguistics, UCLA Lisa Mikesell : doctoral student, Applied Linguistics, UCLA Andrea W. Mates : doctoral student, Applied Linguistics, UCLA John H. Schumann: Professor of Applied Linguistics, UCLAshow more

Table of contents

Grammar as a Complex Adaptive System ; Evidence for Language Emergence ; The Implications of Interaction for the Nature of Language ; Interactional Readiness: Infant-Caregiver Interaction and the Ubiquity of Language Acquisition ; A neurobiology for the Interactional Instinct ; The Interactional Instinct in First and Second Language Acquisition ; Broader Implications of the Interactional Instinctshow more

Rating details

2 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 50% (1)
4 50% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X