Accession Number:

AD0658904

Title:

A HORNBOOK OF HAZARDS FOR LINGUISTS,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

CONNECTICUT COLL NEW LONDON DEPT OF PHILOSPHY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1967-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

281.0

Abstract:

A critical analysis is presented of some beliefs about language and linguistics to which most contemporary linguists assent but which nevertheless hinder their theoretical work. The beliefs are that the data of linguistics are concrete physical objects that linguistic method is primarily descriptive that linguistic laws are laws of nature comparable to physical laws that linguistics is an empirical science using inductive methods that contrariwise linguistics is a formal science comparable to logic that languages are codes that the notion of correctness has no place in linguistics particularly, that linguistics provides no basis for statements about correct usage that the meanings of words are arbitrary that meanings are associations and hence subjective that contrariwise meanings are things-out-in-the-world and hence too plentiful that individual words can be either ambiguous or meaningless that words point to reality that only nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are meaningful that linguists need to invent their own theory of meaning before they can get on with their work that contrariwise linguists need have nothing to do with the meanings of words that the notion of units of meaning both makes sense and is useful that all sentences possess information content that the notion of well-formedness adds something important to grammatical theory that structure takes priority over meaning in constructing a grammar and that speaking a language depends upon the prior reconstruction of the theory of that language. The purpose of the analysis is to invite linguists to free themselves from these beliefs. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Linguistics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE