Focusing on the story of a little boy struggling to speak, an introduction to the science of language draws on neurophysiology and anthropology to investigate the mysterious and complex ways in which people learn language skills
This is the story of one particular little boy trapped in silence, struggling to regain language. And it is the story of every one of us who uses language in much the same way we breathe: effortlessly, intuitively, taking this gift for granted in our daily lives.In a work that captures the whole universe of language, Russell Martin probes this most profound and complex human trait but never abandons his central concern, always circling back to the troubling question of this speechless child. Investigating the mystery of what went wrong and why, he spins a tale of detection, unearthing disturbing truths and reaching surprising conclusions. In the end, his is a spellbinding drama: a tale of one family's determination to help their child find his way back to words; a story of one school's willingness to make room for this child: a story, too, about big, seemingly insurmountable problems and small but noble victories.In combining this story with an elegant inquiry into the totality of language. Martin takes us on a voyage of discovery into the very essence of what makes us human. Moving us with the miracle of language, he tells a tale that is cause for celebration.