What is linguistics? What is it good for?

Henrik Rosenkvist Henrik.Rosenkvist at nordlund.lu.se
Fri Sep 9 07:28:37 UTC 2011


Linguistics is a human enterprise. Ants have workers, engineers and so 
forth, but you don't find artists, historians or linguists in an ant 
hill. We are the only species that feel a need to explore ourselves and 
that have the means to do so – in my view, the capacities for 
introspection etc that we have at hand infer almost an obligation to 
boldly go where no other species can go. And linguistics is one way of 
doing just that.

Henrik R.

Tahir Wood skrev:
> Hi
> 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.
> Tahir
>>>> "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.
> Thanks,
> Shannon
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Henrik Rosenkvist
docent, nordiska språk
Språk- och litteraturcentrum
Lunds universitet
Box 201
221 00 Lund
tel: 046-222 87 04
e-post: Henrik.Rosenkvist at nordlund.lu.se

Henrik Rosenkvist
Associate Professor, Scandinavian Languages
Dept. of Languages and Literature
Lund University
P. O. Box 201, SE-221 00 Lund, SWEDEN
Tel.: +46 46 222 87 04
E-mail: Henrik.Rosenkvist at nordlund.lu.se

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