Dear colleagues!

Franz Dotter franz.dotter at UNI-KLU.AC.AT
Mon Nov 30 15:40:19 UTC 1998

Dear colleagues!

Wofgang Schulze wrote:

"But, I admit, everything depends on which theoretical framework is
applied. The more autonomous (or modular) a language system is thought
to be the more it should be cleaned from idiosyncratic, social, or
cultural parameters; and: the more linguistically trained an informant
should be. The more "holistic" the framework is (or, the more a
communicative-cognitive (CoCo) perspective is taken), the more we have
to respect such parameters and to integrate them into the explanative
part of our framework. This perspective logically prefers linguistically
untrained informants."

A deaf person told me that she was asked by linguists (adhering the modular framework), how she would allow some constituents to be moved. In most cases she answered neither 'yes' nor 'no' but tried to explain under which context (and facial expression) she could imagine some variations. The linguists showed a behavior that was to interpret only in the way that they meant, the informant was silly because she could not answer so primitive yes-no-questions.

This example tells me that it does matter for the results when we try to see linguistic behavior through a filter of a rigidly constraining theory.
And who can explain me how we "clean" language realizations from idiosyncratic, social, or cultural parameters when language exists only in individuals and when it IS culturally bound (by mere ly taking the 'average')?

Maybe I have misunderstood only a side-note?

Franz Dotter

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