excessive criticism

Joan Bresnan bresnan at STANFORD.EDU
Sat Dec 19 16:27:43 UTC 2009

I think that the criticism of Prof Leiss is excessive.  It verges on
pillorying.  Wasn't she merely observing what typologists know to be
true: that the grammars of languages which lack the familiar
structures and markers found in English, for example, often have
unfamiliar but functionally equivalent means in their own grammars?
Her advice, as I took it, was to inform oneself about such typological
variation before querying this forum.

On computer technology forums, this is rather like the rude advice
often given to newcomers to inform themselves before wasting the time
of the experts: RTFM ("Read the F*ing Manual").  It is rude and
impatient, but not a crime.

Joan Bresnan
Stanford University

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list