It is advisable to discuss global typological problems

Yuri Tambovtsev yutamb at MAIL.RU
Tue Apr 12 19:48:35 UTC 2005

Dear Typology colleages, Jean-Christophe Verstraete & Ljuba Veselinova (list owners, lingtyp) told me that it is advisable to discuss global typological problems. I completely agree with them. One of the global typological problems is to measure the distances between the world languages on some important features, and after that to establish language taxa. Or am I wrong? It is not a typological problem? I wonder what the community of typologists think to be important typological problems? What is the scope of them? In the book by T.S. Kuhn "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (Chicago Press, 1970), it is emphacized that usually global paradigm promlems are not discussed by scholars. I have noticed it is especially true for linguistics. I tried to launch a discussion on how linguists understand TYPOLY but received practically no answers. I have also sent my request on the difference between LANGUAGE and DIALECT from a typological point of view but could read only jokes about the army and fleet. What I propose is to publish on line some interesting articles online and to discuss them. Many journals are not available for my post gradutes and me, so the discussion of this sort would be an eye opener. Besides, I remember, when I was a post graduate in 1973, I wrote to some outstanding linguists, like J. Greenberg. Their answers were very important for my further typological studies. If we discuss the future ways for TYPOLOGY to go, it shall be a good leading thread for the young typologists. If you have ideas about my proposal, please, let's discuss them. I'd be thankful if you also send me your messages directly to my email box yutamb at  Yours sincerely Yuri Tambovtsev, Novosibirsk, Russia.
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