LINGUIST List 3.456

Tue 02 Jun 1992

Disc: Citations, Human subjects

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  1. Vicki Fromkin, Re: 3.443 Tone, Relative Markers, Human Subjects
  2. , 3.433 Chomsky Citation
  3. , human subjects

Message 1: Re: 3.443 Tone, Relative Markers, Human Subjects

Date: Wed, 27 May 92 08:49 PDT
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.443 Tone, Relative Markers, Human Subjects

in response to Sue Blackwell as to why, if Chomsky is so prolific, he
is not contributing to this discussion -- obviously he can be prolific
because he doesn't spend his time like we do reading and answering
on the Net. Wonder how many hours we each spend. Vicki Fromkin
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Message 2: 3.433 Chomsky Citation

Date: Thu, 28 May 1992 2:26:02 -3.433 Chomsky Citation
From: <>
Subject: 3.433 Chomsky Citation

 It is aesthetically satisfying to note that the two most heavily cited
humanist writers from the 20th century are Sigmund Freud and Noam Chomsky -
satisfying because these two have basic traits in common: 1.They elaborated
structuralism into a methodology for the human sciences 2. They built
large, powerful bureaucracies to carry on their work 3. Despite their
pretensions as theorists, their successes were as DESCRIPTIVE scientists.

 Part of Chomsky's legacy to linguistics is the understanding of
which questions are UNprofitable to ask. In particular, questions about
``innateness" are empirical questions for developmental psychology
and psycholinguistics, NOT questions of transcendental (in the Kantian sense)
philosophy -
I think people understand that now, BECAUSE of Chomsky. On the other hand,
psycholinguistics research seems to tilt at least as much to Piagetian
fantasies (words like "interactionism" and "bootstrap" keep occurring) as
to those popularized by Chomsky. Isn't this a reasonable summary?

 What really fascinates me, as a gerontologist of theories, is the question:
how stable are the descriptive formalisms of the Masters (Freud or Chomsky).
Will GB exist in a recognizable form in 20 years? Anyone willing to lend
their crystal ball?

 Again, an abiding problem for a scholar of either Freud or Chomsky is that
detailed discussions of their influence, histories of the development of their
ideas, etc., are almost entirely written by Believers. I saw an interesting
albeit brief, asessment of NC's influence on psychology, philosophy, etc.
in this discussion. What is his net influence on the vast number of
NON-theoretical linguists ( citation data is never specific enough to shed any
light on that....) ?

 JA Given
 SUNY Stony Brook
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Message 3: human subjects

Date: Fri, 29 May 92 09:42 CDT
From: <TB0EXC1NIU.bitnet>
Subject: human subjects

Regarding the comments on human subjects, informed consent,
copyrighting of linguistic data (speaker output), the most
comprehensive treatment I know of is in the most recent number
of the Publications of the American Dialect Society (Number 76),
'Legal and Ethical Issues in Surreptitious Recording.' The
volume contains two essays, 'The Legal and Ethical Status of
Surreptitious Recording in Dialect Research: Do Human Subjects
Guidelines Apply,' by Don Larmouth, and an extended treatment
'On the Legality and Ethics of Surreptitious Recording,' by Thomas
E. Murray and Carmin Ross Murray. Both make excellent, pertinent
reading for any language researcher.

Edward Callary
Northern Illinois University
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