Pullum at MIT this afternoon

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Wed Apr 21 00:25:33 UTC 2010

I think there are some linguistics students who misunderstand the received view within the field and arrive at JL's fallacy, but that doesn't mean the field promotes this naive view except in so far as many linguists offer minimal coverage of such issues in their introductory courses.

I think it's important to note that the motivation for the linguist's defense of non-standard dialects and everyday conversational speech is partially a reaction to the  mainstream view, which is actively enforced in many educational contexts, that these kinds of language are defective. So, I don't hear too many linguists arguing that vernacular speech is adequate for all situations as much as they're arguing against those who would claim that it's not adequate for ANY situation.

-Matt Gordon

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: Pullum at MIT this afternoon

>       Education is not promoted through encouraging educated Americans to
>       believe, falsely, that their command of their own native language is
>       flawed and inadequate.


The linguistician's fallacy reduces multiple uses of language to that of
everyday, often imprecise and inconsequential conversation. It then claims,
without evidence and against the belief of every literate society we know
of, that that level is perfectly adequate for all situations.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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