We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Language Instinct Audiobook
The Language Instinct
Written by: 
Steven Pinker
Narrated by: 
Arthur Morey
The Language Instinct Audiobook

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

Regular Price:$18.19
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

In this classic, the world’s expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution.

The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.

©2011 Steven Pinker (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Pinker writes with acid verve." (Atlantic Monthly)

"An extremely valuable book, very informative, and very well written." (Noam Chomsky)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (494 )
5 star
 (226)
4 star
 (150)
3 star
 (76)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (16)
Overall
4.1 (399 )
5 star
 (183)
4 star
 (125)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (15)
Story
4.1 (406 )
5 star
 (173)
4 star
 (139)
3 star
 (64)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (18)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    damarques Brasília, Brazil 03-29-14
    damarques Brasília, Brazil 03-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Solid book about the nature of language"
    If you could sum up The Language Instinct in three words, what would they be?

    Darwin wins again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Steven Pinker explains very clearly the theory of human language as a biological adaptation. And he teaches you a lot of related subjects along the way.

    The way Pinker conveys knowledge to the layperson and the specialist at the same time reminds me of Carl Sagan. Pinker's book is very well written and makes you want to read more and more about the subjects involving human language. In contrast, I was reading one of Terrence Deacon's books about language and got stuck with his tiresome writing.


    Which character – as performed by Arthur Morey – was your favorite?

    About the narrator, this was the second book I listened with Arthur Morey. Like in "The Better Angels of our Nature" his performance was flawless.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but it's 19 hours of audio!


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book for the lovers of linguistics. And an excellent opportunity for those interested in knowing more about this subject without getting bored.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ariel 06-30-16
    Ariel 06-30-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great content, but terrible in audio format"

    This is a great book that I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in not only language but science and human nature. But I WOULD NOT recommend listening to it in audio format. It's extremely hard to follow and I almost gave up several times. I'm overall quite happy with Audible, but listening to this book proved to me not only the obvious truth that not all books can be adapted to audiobook format, but that the judgement of whether a book can be adapted or not can be quite subjective. My answer to this question regarding this book is a clear NO, but I'm happy I finished it and I now actually really want to buy the paper version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-10-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Linguistics rit right"

    Pinker writes well. and for me that's often enough, but his subject knowledge and thoughtful arguments make a technical subject understandable and enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jose 11-02-15
    jose 11-02-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very smart but..."

    ...it tends to read like a linguistics textbook. I often found my mind wandering and missed several portions of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adu 06-22-15
    Adu 06-22-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Includes brief updates on each chapter."
    Any additional comments?

    At the end of the book, there are brief updates, chapter by chapter, on more recent developments. (And it seemed that there wasn't much, of the 1994 material, that was really outdated.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 05-24-15
    John 05-24-15 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "makes me want to read more from Steven Pinker"

    An excellent explication of evolutionary neo-Chomsky-aniism. A bit tedious in its minutia. Deliberately perhaps, to bring to mind Darwin's seminal work. Well worth a listen if you don't mind sleeping through some of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-17-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Horrible vocal performance"

    I could not finish listening to this book...the narrator's hypercorrected unnatural pronunciation grated on my ears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    words 01-11-15
    words 01-11-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "nice background - field has advanced since publish"

    Important background to linguistics and cognitive science wrt language, though readers should follow up with more recent accounts of particular areas of interest (good suggestions in the afterward).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samuel Aldrich Yokota AB, JP 12-17-14
    Samuel Aldrich Yokota AB, JP 12-17-14 Member Since 2014

    Samuel Aldrich

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overly Detailed"

    If you're a English Major or language major in general, you might like this book. Otherwise, you're will to listen will me smashed in by this book's huge list type example methodology.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RI in Canada 11-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    67
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much detail in the middle"

    I'd give it a mixed review. The book has many details at the level of morphemes that are pretty hard to listen to, but I know I'd never have finished the book reading. Some of the data is dated (e.g. genome mapping, brain hemisphere stuff), which does reduce the credibility of some of the arguments. He also seems to be pretty selective in cherry-picking data to support his ideas. Still though, I learned a lot and enjoyed most of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.