LINGUIST List 2.586

Sat 28 Sep 1991

Disc: Linguists and Philologists

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. "Michael Kac", Re: 2.580 What is a Linguist?
  2. Logical Language Group, Am I a linguist?
  3. Vicki Fromkin, Re: 2.558 Linguist
  4. , philology

Message 1: Re: 2.580 What is a Linguist?

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 91 20:51:13 -0500
From: "Michael Kac" <>
Subject: Re: 2.580 What is a Linguist?
A quick addendum to my response to Bob Krovetz, prompted in part by
Bert Peeters' comment on Krovetz's posting: There is a difference
between necessary and sufficient conditions. That some investigators
satisfy what I take to be sufficient conditions for membership in what
I am now calling the prototypical core of linguists, that doesn't mean
that investigators who fail to satisfy one or more of those conditions
can't belong to the core. You don't HAVE to be a syntactician or phono-
logist publishing in Lg., LI, L&P, NLLT etc. to belong, but if you are
you almost certainly do. Or are there people out there who want to
dispute THAT claim?
Michael Kac
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Am I a linguist?

Date: Sat, 28 Sep 91 09:50:24 -0400
From: Logical Language Group <>
Subject: Am I a linguist?
Am I a linguist? A useful test case for definitions. I work full
time on the linguistic definition of an artificial language, planning
and leading a research project, with no other employment. I expect to
be doing this for some years, and will be seeking funding. But I'm not
currently paid and or funded through any normal channels, am only
self-published, have no significant language ability other than English
(except non-fluent use of the artificial language), no academic
coursework in linguistics (but a lot of reading). My degree is in
astrophysics, but I never worked in the field and could hardly call
myself an astrophysicist - I've worked for 15 years in computer systems.
I don't call myself a linguist (rather a 'language engineer') and don't
consider my skills in linguistics equal to most researchers who post to
this list. Still my actrivities and professional interests seem to
become more like those discussed here with each passing month.
 lojbab = Bob LeChevalier, President, The Logical Language Group, Inc.
 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA 703-385-0273
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: Re: 2.558 Linguist

Date: Sat, 28 Sep 91 09:36 PDT
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.558 Linguist
As Gertrude Stein should have or would have said -- A linguist is a linguist
is a linguist.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: philology

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 91 22:25:43 CDT
Subject: philology
Since nobody to date has taken up the question (asked,
we believe by Michael Kac a few days ago) of what philology
is, we thought we should contribute: we have a paper coming
out in the festschrift in honor of Jim McCawley's 50th birth-day
on the meaning of the word. We found through questionnaires
and reading that it is rightfully described as a polysemous
set (a radial category a` la Lakoff) with meanings ranging
from `coterminous with historical linguistics' to `any study
of texts'. The various meanings range from overlapping to
mutual exclusion. We also found that a sample of opinions
from about 120 linguists gave about equal weight to the
ideas that philology and linguistics were the same thing,
had nothing to do with each other, that philology subsumed
linguistics, and that linguistics subsumed philology. This
research was fun to do!
Write to us at Geoff Nathan's e-mail address (<ga3662siucvmb.
bitnet>) for a copy of the paper, or read it when it appears in print.
 Margaret Winters
 Geoff Nathan
 Southern Illinois University
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue