[Lingtyp] terminology

Joseph T. Farquharson jtfarquharson at gmail.com
Thu Jul 26 15:08:33 EDT 2018


I am not even certain at times if there is a clear (theoretical) motivation
for using different terminology. I have seen a couple cases where somebody
makes a claim that X language makes use of completive aspect and then goes
on to quote Comrie's definition of *perfective* without a word of
explanation. If the thing is similar to what Comrie calls perfective, why
not just call it perfective?"

Joseph


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Joseph T. Farquharson | Lecturer | Department of Language, Linguistics &
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On Thu, 26 Jul 2018 at 15:35, Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>
wrote:

> On 26.07.18 15:17, Maia Ponsonnet wrote:
>
> Several people have commented that other disciplines fare better than
> linguistics and effectively adopt shared terminology. Can we have
> examples?
>
>
> For example astronomy, chemistry and biology:
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_naming_conventions
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IUPAC_nomenclature_of_inorganic_chemistry
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomenclature_codes
>
> the categories/groupings we create, and the criteria upon which we define
> them, are more important than the labels we give to these categories.
>
>
> Yes, talking about terminology makes sense only once we know we are
> talking about the same denotata, of course. It's true that we often have
> different concepts in mind and cannot explain them well, but there are also
> many cases where we agree on the concepts but use different terms (or vague
> terms that coexpress several clearly distinct concepts).
>
> In these cases, outsiders (e.g. students, or interested nonlinguists) will
> be confused, and my experience is that very often I am myself confused. For
> example, when I read a linguistics paper, very often I don't understand
> what the author is saying until I see an example. So I find our terminology
> dysfunctional to a significant extent. Maybe this is unavoidable, but it
> seems to me that we should at least give more thought to this issue (and
> this is what we are doing right now! also with respect to metaphors... So
> thanks to everyone for contributing to the discussion!).
>
> Martin
>
> --
> Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
> Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
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> &
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>
>
>
>
>
>
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