[Lingtyp] terminology

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Wed Jul 25 11:24:18 UTC 2018

Just one point in response to Martin's latest ...

On 25/07/2018 16:29, Martin Haspelmath wrote:
> But then how do we improve the terminological situation? I mean cases 
> where we all agree that there are conceptual distinctions that are 
> worth making, but we don't have a way of agreeing on a term?
My impression is that in many cases, including the present one involving 
"coexpression", it is not the case that "we all agree that there are 
conceptual distinctions that are worth making".  Perhaps I am wrong, but 
it seems to me that at least some of the people objecting to the term 
"coexpression" do not agree on the need for ANY term that would function 
as a cover term for (i) monosemy/macrofunctionality; (ii) 
polysemy/polyfunctionality; and (iii) homonomy. Which is probably why 
nobody has taken up your challenge of offering an alternative term.

More generally, the terminological issues can't always be neatly 
separated from the substantive ones.  For example, when I (and many of 
my typologist colleagues) argue against TPs (Tense-Phrases) in, say, 
Southeast Asian languages, the rejection of the term isn't "just" a 
terminological quibble, but rather a substantive claim about what 
certain languages are like.

David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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