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Lexicon: Very simply, the lexicon is the mental dictionary that each of us carries around in our heads.

It is not exactly clear what the lexicon IS and little more than that is known about what the lexicon DOES. What little knowledge we have, though, suggests that the sentences of a language are built from smaller units that are somehow stored in the lexicon along with rules for their arrangement into meaningful utterances. I am sorry about the definition but lexicon is a hard word to define.

Start with some of this.

Well, the same goes for music, right? We all hear music as we grow up and we remember bits and pieces of the stuff that we like. When we grow up and start singing songs of our own all we have to draw from is the memory (read: lexicon) of these bits and pieces. It's true, yo.

This, then, is a forever expanding (and forever incomplete!) list of Lexicon's lexicon. The bits and pieces or Knowing from which we attempt to form Meaning, translated into Sound.


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Needless to say, Chomsky represents one of the problems with the literature in the field of linguistics --- namely: that the majority of it is written for other linguists and is difficult to read. A notable exception is Stephen Pinker's book, THE LANGUAGE INSTINCT. This book is well written, easy to read and serves as a very thorough introduction to the scientific study of language. Anyone who is even a little bit interested in how human language works should READ THIS BOOK - it is available almost everywhere.


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