What is linguistics? What is it good for?

Tahir Wood twood at uwc.ac.za
Fri Sep 9 07:16:28 UTC 2011


I think there should be a purely humane concern underlying linguistics, in addition to the more pragmatic concerns that have been mentioned.  The humanities, I think, pose such questions as:
What do we have in common?
Where do we differ?
Why do we differ?

It seems to me that the human awareness of self is an end in itself, and linguistics is and should be part of this vast enterprise (enterprise in the sense of adventure). It is not just about adding value in the marketplace.


>>> "s.t. bischoff" <bischoff.st at gmail.com> 9/8/2011 6:04 pm >>>
Hi all,

I've been asked by my Dean to give a talk which he has titled "What is
linguistics? What is it good for?". This talk will be given to a general
audience of faculty, students, and administrators.  I have several ideas how
to approach this, but I wanted to ask folks how they might go about
answering the two questions in the title in such a situation.


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