LINGUIST List 3.318

Sun 05 Apr 1992

Disc: How should we train linguists?

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  1. Vicki Fromkin, Re: 3.300 Teaching, Discourse, Evolution

Message 1: Re: 3.300 Teaching, Discourse, Evolution

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 92 07:48 PST
From: Vicki Fromkin <IYO1VAFMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 3.300 Teaching, Discourse, Evolution

Re: the message from HASPELMATH (I do not know who this is) I in no way was
suggesting that we should just have'fun', and thank you for raising a
truly serious question regarding the future of our students and jobs
for linguists (and everyone else). This is a serious problem, and given
the present economic situation world-wide with faculty freezes, the
closing of departments in universities, etc. the question raised needs
discussion. But it goes beyond knowing which is the 'received position'
re linguistic theory which will lead to a job for a grad student who
works in this paradigm rather than another, but to trying to find jobs
for all our grad students no matter what their theoretical framework (I
am assuming we only produce excellent scholars). Of course it is not that
simple since when we have a particular view of what is important and interest-
ing we often find other research dull and unimportant even though we may
respect the individual and the ability of the researcher. But there is no
way to legislate what departments will teach or what theory their faculty
should espouse and therefore what candidates they will be interested in
hiring. One can only adopt a position of interest to oneself based on
looking at the literature, reading the arguments etc.

This is much longer than I intended. I do think we 'old timers' should
be deeply concerned about the job situation for our students and wanted
to make this clear. Vicki Fromkin
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