How did language evolve? How old is language? How do we all know how to speak so effortlessly? Why is structural grammatical language specifically human? In this illuminating book, Steven Pinker attacks the fundamental questions with intense curiosity, energetic wit and clarity. He discusses every facet of human language and uncovers its deepest mysteries. Language, to Pinker, is an instinct, and he cuts through the jargon of the science of linguistics to show us how and why.