Linguistics and Language – dantsdritic branching – Jan 12

Linguistics and Language – Yes, it’s a real field of science.

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This is a thread for linguistics! All sorts of linguistics and language related stuff! I will provide a bit of information about my background, and try to explain what linguistics is. I am an undergraduate studying Linguistics and Philosophy. I study linguistics in the generative tradition, which was pioneered by Chomsky back in the 50’s, and aims to study the underlying ability of the language faculty that humans have. This has a large cross-over with Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Language, and further on, I will do a more indepth post on the history of the field, its relation to the current state of those fields of philosophy and its historical philosophical roots from my perspective, but I don’t want to do it here because people might have differing opinions, and I don’t want new people to get embroiled in the field’s debates :shobon:.

What is linguistics?

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Linguistics is the science of languages. It covers a wide range of topics, and there’s a lot of very spirited theoretical debate so I’ll try and be as vague and non-partisan as I can be. The study of language can range from the mathematical study of formal language systems like logic, to historical linguistics which aims to study the development of language across time, to documenting rare languages, to sociolinguistics which studies the social qualities of different languages and investigates the different features of languages, to even neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics which investigate the roles of the brain in language. I am mostly interested in neuro/psycholinguistics, with an eye for formal analysis.

Who is this thread for?
This thread is for everyone interested in language, not just linguistics! There was talk on the forums on people doing linguistics/language related effort posts, so I thought I might as well create a thread so that we can put them all in one place. Feel free to ask any language related questions, or talk about language stuff! I don’t know how many people here study linguistics or a related field, or have an interest enough to field questions, but I’m sure someone can. There’s one thing – I WILL DO A POST ABOUT ANIMAL COMMUNICATION AND WHETHER THEY HAVE LANGUAGE OR NOT VERY SOON. This is a very common question, and it can spark a lot of debate. The quick run down is that animals can and do communicate, but they don’t have language. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but that’s because there’s a fairly convincing argument that language is not for communication (which is even more counter-intuitive I know, I’ll come back to it).

i swear to god i will cut you if you make an oral sex joke