LINGUIST List 2.593

Mon 30 Sep 1991

Disc: What is a Linguist?

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. , Re: 2.586 Linguists and Philologists
  2. Glenn Adams, Re: philology
  3. , Re: 2.580 What is a Linguist?
  4. Karen Kay, 2.580 What is a Linguist?

Message 1: Re: 2.586 Linguists and Philologists

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1991 12:47 CST
From: <LIFY460orange.cc.utexas.edu>
Subject: Re: 2.586 Linguists and Philologists
To Vicki Fromkin:
	Yeah, but Gertrude Stein wasn't a linguist!
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Message 2: Re: philology

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 91 17:40:07 EDT
From: Glenn Adams <glennila.com>
Subject: Re: philology
A conference entitled "What is Philology?" was sponsored in March 1988 by
the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies at Harvard University. An
expanded form of the lectures are available in Jan Ziolkowski, Ed., "On
Philology," Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990. The speakers included
prominent members from the fields of Classics, Comparative Literature,
Literary Criticism, and Linguistics. The editor of the above work, who
organized the conference, says the following:
 "One surprise of the conference was the extent to which the debate over
 the place of philology in the cirriculum was presented unabashedly as a
 power struggle. Indeed, philology seemed less at issue than philocracy..."
My favorite response to the question was "Philology is the art of reading
slowly," offered by Calvert Watkins, who was quoting Roman Jakobson, who
was quoting ....
Glenn Adams
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Message 3: Re: 2.580 What is a Linguist?

Date: Mon, 30 Sep 91 17:10 +0800
From: <MATTHEWSHKUCC.BITNET>
Subject: Re: 2.580 What is a Linguist?
Re: Harrisite linguists?
 An interesting minimal pair arises with the controversial
"linguist" Roy Harris. While tenets such as the non-existence of
languages are described as Harrisian, a follower of Harrisian
ideas is known as a Harrisite, at least to those critical of
the said ideas. Furthermore, many who regard themselves as
"linguists" refuse to apply the term to Harris. Presumably
this reluctance is based on a definition along the lines of
"one who studies language or languages." Since Harris' work
does not involve studying languages so much as criticising
those who do, the title "anti-linguist" has been suggested.
Another definition offered recently was "anyone who can get
a job by calling himself/herself a linguist." Since Harris
has done this rather successfully, there would appear to be
something wrong with this definition.
 Steve Matthews, University of Hong Kong
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Message 4: 2.580 What is a Linguist?

Date: Mon, 30 Sep 91 06:47:14 EDT
From: Karen Kay <LL23NEMOMUS.bitnet>
Subject: 2.580 What is a Linguist?
> From: "Randy J. LaPolla" <HSLAPOLLATWNAS886.BITNET>
>
> but in Chinese or Japanese I could never call myself a 'linguist', as
> that would have been seen as extremely pretentious, as 'linguist' (as
> the word is usually translated) not only implies that you 'do
> linguistics', but also that you are pretty damn good at it, and
> possibly somewhat famous.
But this is not restricted to linguists--I think when anyone in ANY
occupation is asked what they are/do, they reply 'I do X', but then are
categorized by others as a linguist, teacher, grocer, cosmetician, etc.
So it is a feature of language rather than reflecting something special
about linguistics. I doubt if even famous Japanese linguists SAY they
are gengogakusha.
Karen Kay
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