LINGUIST List 4.166

Mon 08 Mar 1993

Disc: Models for the Conduct of Linguistics

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  1. , Two Models for the Conduct of Linguistics

Message 1: Two Models for the Conduct of Linguistics

Date: Sun, 7 Mar 93 19:46:24 ESTTwo Models for the Conduct of Linguistics
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Subject: Two Models for the Conduct of Linguistics

Since the discussion, which I guess started with David Pesetsky's
response to one my earlier postings, has apparently turned into
a confrontation between those who like various ideas associated
with terms like "generative grammar", "GB", "Noam Chomsky", and
the like, and those who do not, I thought it may be time to point
out that, in my mind at least, the connection between what KIND
of linguistics one wants to do and what SPECIFIC linguistic THEORIES
one happens to uphold is an accidental and not a necessary one.

I guess, in the spirit of Howard McKaughan, I should apologize
for making it seem as though my critique of linguists who refuse
to admit when their theories have been falsified was directed
at "generative grammarians" of various kinds to the exclusion
of other linguists.

That was not my intention (at least, I hope it was not, unless
some unconscious factor came into play), because it is plainn
that other kinds of linguists have on the whole been far LESS
methodologically responsible than the "generative grammarians".
Indeed, I don't think that we could even start discussing an
issue like this if it were not for the progress made by people
such as Halle and Chomsky.

Halle's argument about the phonemic level, and Chomsky's
arguments against finite-state and phrase-structure grammars
(although quite flawed in other ways) have, to my mind, set
a standard for linguistic argumentation which had apparently
not existed before.
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