This book is about how language, and languages inhabit the mind. The discussion will deal not only with ‘language’ in the broadest sense of that term but also touch on issues of cognition in general.Looking at the extreme conceptual complexity that characterises the ways humans think, it is tempting to attribute this, in part at least, to the creative power that is afforded us by our language ability. In many other respects we are similar to other, higher mammals that do not have a language system like ours: the information coming from the environment impacts on the senses, is perceived and processed such that the results of these processes acquire particular values and meanings. Whether increasing cognitive sophistication and the development of the language processing system are causally linked in some way is an intriguing issue which we shall not go into. The book will certainly devote space to these larger issues of human cognition although the focus will be on language ability itself, which, for the majority of the inhabitants on this planet, means how we use the language systems (in the plural) that most of us, to a greater or lesser extent, possess.Language is a topic that seems to fascinate everyone, all the more so now that even the most persistently monolingual communities are becoming more aware of other languages and other cultures. Why, people ask, is acquiring a language so much more straightforward when you are a small child? Can you really possess more than one mother tongue? Why are we adults often so frustratingly slow in picking up a new language in comparison to our sons or daughters? How can we come to know facts about the grammar of a language, use this knowledge to spot and correct our own mistakes and yet continue to make them? Why do some adults acquire new languages more readily than others?Эта книга о языке, и о том, как языки "населяют" разум. В книге обсуждается не только языки в самом широком смысле, но и процесс познания.