LINGUIST List 2.550

Mon 23 Sep 1991

Disc: Linguist

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Directory

  1. , What is a linguist?
  2. , linguist...
  3. , 2.545 Linguist
  4. Geoffrey Russom, Re: 2.545 Linguist

Message 1: What is a linguist?

Date: Sun, 22 Sep 91 10:31:08 +0800
From: <markecs.uwa.oz.au>
Subject: What is a linguist?
My answer to this question is an adaptation of the definition
of AI (that's Artificial Intelligence, not the other one) we
were given in an honours course on the subject, some years ago:
 AI is whatever you can get a grant for by calling AI.
In a parallel formation, perhaps
 a linguist is anyone who can get a job by calling
 themselves a linguist.
That's pragmatism.
Unfortunately, it doesn't help Jim Scobbie's need for a glamorous
job title. What he had to call himself to get his job probably
won't register with the great unwashed.
marke.
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Message 2: linguist...

Date: Sun, 22 Sep 91 13:53:10 EST
From: <RGAGNEucs.indiana.edu>
Subject: linguist...
Another anecdote to go with those from Michael Kac. I was taking a Beowulf
course in an English department once, and the teacher asked, a propos of the
line we were on, what was interesting about a particular noun there. After
a short silence I said that it iwas in the dative, which surprised me in that
context. The teacher replied (essentially) "So what?" Turned out that he
was after the poetic effect gained by the use of that particular vocabulary
item. Dative, shmative, was his attitude. I was startled at the depth of
the chasm (in that instance) between a linguist (in a philologist's hat) and
that literary critic. Not so much because he hadn't had the dative case in
mind, but because once it came up he remained profoundly and unalterably
uninterested.
Elise Morse-Gagne
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Message 3: 2.545 Linguist

Date: Sun, 22 Sep 91 14:39:30 EDT
From: <Alexis_Manaster_Ramermts.cc.wayne.edu>
Subject: 2.545 Linguist
In many computer science contexts, anybody who is a computational
linguist or even an expert in NLP (two rather different things) is
liable to be called a linguist, even though within the computational
linguistics (and NLP) community, there is a fairly clear distinction
made between the computational linguists who are linguists (e.g.,
Carl Pollard) and those are computer scientists, logicians, or what
have you (e.g., Stu Shieber). And, as far as I can tell, people
usually have no trouble identifying themselves.
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Message 4: Re: 2.545 Linguist

Date: Sat, 21 Sep 91 14:48:25 EDT
From: Geoffrey Russom <EL403015brownvm.brown.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.545 Linguist
Michael Kak asserts that "Einstein wasn't a linguist" counts as a
totally uncontroversial and therefore uninteresting statement. But
I read somewhere that the theory of relativity was inspired in part
by Einstein's contacts with a Swiss scholar who introduced him to the
concept of dialectal variation. Maybe not so uninteresting ...
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