(no subject)

Daniel Everett daniel.everett at uol.com.br
Mon May 30 18:18:08 UTC 2005

The importance of Aristotle to linguistics is not so much his specific
proposals but, in contradistinction to Plato, can be interpreted as
arguing that language, as convention, emerges from culture/society.
This is quite different from believing that language is a form of math
about which out knowledge is underdetermined by our experience. In my
recent review article in Journal of Linguistics "Biology and language:
a consideration of alternatives", I suggest that 'Aristotle's Problem'
should replace 'Plato's Problem' as the focus of linguistic concern,
i.e. that we should be looking for cultural bases of languages rather
than a priori knowledge.


On 30 May 2005, at 19:13, dcyr at yorku.ca wrote:

> I'm currently in the process of kicking Aristotle out of linguistics
> too, if
> only on the question of personal ranking.  My current research on the
> hypothesis of TU as a first person in Algonquian languages shows that
> there
> is no philosophical reason to put EGO as a first person in grammar.  In
> Algonquian TU looks more like a first person and EGO like a second.
> Conversations with linguists working on other language groups tend to
> corroborate my hypothesis which I came up with in 1996. It has proned
> Marie-Odile Junker (Carleton University0f Ottawa) to pursue on the same
> hypothesis from a general typological perspective.  Her research
> confirms
> mine.
> Danielle E. Cyr
Daniel L. Everett
Professor of Phonetics & Phonology
School of Languages, Linguistics, and Cultures
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL UK
Fax: 44-161-275-3031
Phone: 44-161-275-3158

"It does not seem likely, therefore, that there is any direct relation
between the culture of a tribe and the language they speak, except in
so far as the form of the language will be moulded by the state of the
culture, but not in so far as a certain state of the culture is
conditioned by morphological traits of the language." Boas (1911,59ff)

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