Why is linguistics considered a science?

By: | Post date: 2016-08-24 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Supplemental to the list given by David Rosson (ah, your American bias is showing, David 🙂

cc C (Selva) R.Selvakumar

  • As Dmitriy Genzel points out, Historical Linguistics is an observational science, like Astronomy. A lot of hypothesis testing though.
  • To add to Tibor Kiss’ list of German words, Linguistic Typology is a Versammelnde Wissenschaft: a science based on data collection. Like biological taxonomy.
  • Semantics, depending on the flavour of Semantics being done, is an observational science (lexicography), or logic, or philosophy.
  • Pragmatics is something in between cultural anthropology and philosophy (but a very cool, nuts-and-bolts philosophy).
  • Discourse Analysis is observational science, but with dirtier data.

Oh, and phoneticians’ papers look just like psychology papers. Four pages long, with graphs. Historical linguists’ papers are old-school chatty. Syntax papers have at least some pretence of rigour. The style of the papers lines up to the kinds of science (or Geistwissenschaft) their subdisciplines aspire to be.

Leave a Reply

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

  • June 2024
    M T W T F S S
%d bloggers like this: