Thursday, September 5, 2013

Do you study grammar, or language in general?

It was not even September, and I already got this question, to which my first reply is "Do you have a minute?"

I love answering this question, because it gives me an opportunity to get to the heart of the big questions that have driven linguistic inquiry since (at least) the Chomskyan revolution in the late 1950s. While I think that the answer to the stated question is essentially a 'both/and,' with a heavy dose of clarifying definitions, many of the central questions in linguistics are still (to a large extent) unanswered or, alternatively, superficially answered but without deeper explanation.

In my role as visiting faculty this year, I haven't had the chance to meet many Carleton linguists, so please come by my office (in Cherlon's space) or send me an email (dmedeiros at carleton), so we can start a conversation about language, linguistics, or anything else that's on your mind.