Talk:Linguistics/Archive 1

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Suggestions for editing this page

Hi, all. I'm one of the authors of the Linguistics Workgroup. As not much is happening here at the moment I'm going to try to get to work on this page and hope others join in!

Some suggestions:

  • Join the workgroup if you haven't already. At the moment we have no registered editors (I'm applying) and only six registered authors. To do this put Category:Linguistics Authors|Yourlastastname, Yourfirstname in [ ] at the bottom of your user page (or the equivalent editor tag if you are an editor).
  • Citizendium's first 'editor approved' page is Biology. Take a look and compare it to the Wikipedia version [1]. The CZ one is much easier to read: it doesn't get bogged down in technicalities, nor prioritise less-than-useful information (such as the origin of the word 'biology').
  • I think we should prioritise this page before moving on to others, except where your area of expertise focuses on another article. By default, let's try to work on this one.
  • The page should focus simply on what linguistics is, without going into details of e.g. the history of the field (that can be put on the History of linguistics page). So it should focus on identifying the core topics - syntax, phonology, morphology, (linguistic) semantics, language acquisition, and the difference between theoretical and applied. This should be fairly concise.

I'm planning to manually refresh the page with the latest Wikipedia version (which I've also been editing, but developing the view that it's a lost cause), then make the page 'live' before editing it.

Good luck!

John Stephenson 21:23, 15 December 2006 (CST)

First edits

I've now refreshed the page with the 16th December Wikipedia version and started hacking away at it. The old article is under my user page here if you want to examine it and revert things. Also, the page is now 'live'. John Stephenson 21:38, 15 December 2006 (CST)

For a non-expert bystander it reads fairly well David Tribe 05:45, 23 January 2007 (CST)
Thanks - though I've only edited the first few paragraphs. There really is a lot to do here, so anyone with an interest, dive in. John Stephenson 19:09, 23 January 2007 (CST)

Other Things

I know a few linguistics who might take issue with the statement that phonetics "complement linguistics rather than form a central component." I strongly urge putting phonetics out at the level of the other theoretical levels (as I did in my edit). --Joshua Tauberer 19:39, 3 February 2007 (CST)

First, well done for the recent edits - you're right to strip out the stuff about UG in the introduction, and also the prescription part is now in much better shape.
As for phonetics: in taking this line I'm following firstly the distinction between linguistics and phonetics (e.g. as Crystal's dictionary title does), and secondly the view that phonetics and phonology should not be conflated. As Aitchison argues in her (2003) introductory book, phonetics is about speech sounds, rather than the study of abstract patterns as most linguistics concerns itself with. Crystal's definition refers to phonetics as being about transcription, description and classification. This seems to be followed in much work:
  • The fact that you have books devoted to phonology rather than phonetics (e.g. Kenstowicz, 1994);
  • That there are books that treat them separately (e.g. Davenport and Hannahs, 2005);
  • The observation that phonology underlies many writing systems, sign languages (e.g. Brentari, 1999) and other communication systems in which phonetics plays no role;
  • That describing phonemic units in terms of articulation fails to capture essential behaviour and relationships (Davenport and Hannahs, 2005: 92-94);
  • That this distinction is taught to undergraduates (e.g. here);
  • That there are linguists who argue they're not related (e.g. David Odden and Jonathan Kaye);
  • That even the phonetics-based phonology approach (e.g. Hayes et al., 2004) leaves room for controversies (e.g. Harris and Lindsey in Burton-Roberts et al., 2000, who argue that phonology can't be described satisfactorily through either articulation or raw acoustics; and Hale and Reiss in the same volume, who see it as a branch of psychology).
To this we can add that phonological rules are largely independent of articulatory facts: for example, though I was taught by English teachers that assimilation occurs to make words easier to pronounce, in fact this is not universal (Russian lacks assimilation in words like bank) and applies to only some features and not others, e.g. place but not manner.
The late phonetician Peter Ladefoged certainly saw phonetic study as informing phonology, but in his well-known coursebook wrote that a phonetician's knowledge of language concerns how the vocal apparatus and auditory systems are used; their field is describing speech in terms of perception and production. Observing where a change in speech entails a change in meaning is helpful in doing this, but nowhere in his book does he actually get into a real, abstract phonological theory.
So for these reasons I can't see the justification for making phonetics as prominent as you would like; it deserves its own page, and relationships should be pointed out, but phonology does not really treat phonetics as its starting point.
  • Aitchison, J. (2003). Teach Yourself Linguistics. London: Hodder. 6th edition.
  • Brentari, D. (1999). A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Crystal, D. (2002). A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Oxford: Blackwell. 5th edition.
  • Davenport, M. & S.J. Hannahs (2005). Introducing Phonetics and Phonology. London: Hodder. 2nd edition.
  • Harris, J. & G. Lindsey (2000). Vowel patterns in mind and sound. In N. Burton-Roberts, P. Carr & G. Docherty (eds) Phonological Knowledge: Conceptual and Empirical Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp.185-205.
  • Hale, M. & C. Reiss (2000). Phonology as cognition. In N. Burton-Roberts, P. Carr & G. Docherty (eds) Phonological Knowledge: Conceptual and Empirical Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp.161-184.
  • Hayes, B., R. Kirchner & D. Steriade (eds) (2004). Phonetically-Based Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kenstowicz, M. (1994). Phonology in Generative Grammar. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Ladefoged, P. (2006). A Course in Phonetics. London: Thomson. 5th edition.

Right... I didn't mean to suggest that phonetics should be promoted in a way that conflates it with phonology. They're separate for sure. What I'm saying is that it is a separate subfield, but it is a subfield of linguistics on par with the other levels of linguistic description (phono, morph, syn, sem, prag). Or, another way to put it is: just because it doesn't involve abstractions like modern syntactic theory shouldn't exclude it from being linguistics proper. --Joshua Tauberer 11:35, 7 February 2007 (CST)

References and subject-verb agreement

Comments from an interested amateur. On subject-verb agreement - could you add examples of dialect speech where this rule is broken, to make the example clearer? I guess "I sez-he sez" is one. On references - could I suggest please that you try if possible to choose references available on or via the web, or give IBSN numbers or database numbers. I think we need to see references as there to be used by the reader, not as remote but perhaps inaccessible sources of authority.Gareth Leng 04:52, 4 February 2007 (CST)

I'm stripping out some of the more obscure WP references; most of the ones I've used in the main article are fairly easy-to-find works. ISBN numbers, yes; working on it. :-) But why strip out the commas for the references? John Stephenson 23:08, 4 February 2007 (CST)
See Help:Citation_style; we've been trying to adopt a consistent reference style to make copy editing easier. This is provisional and for discussion, so please feel free to join in Gareth Leng 03:42, 5 February 2007 (CST)
OK; I think it looks a bit silly but no problem with going along with it. John Stephenson 21:58, 5 February 2007 (CST)


I changed the paragraph order. I think it is clearer to someone not acquainted with linguistics to proceed from some historical and philosophical considerations to more specific and technical linguistic themes.--Martin Kalck 05:37, 5 February 2007 (CST)

The problem with this is that the 'history of linguistics' is pretty peripheral to most modern students; I've done a BA and an MA and we never had courses on Ancient Greek philosophers for the simple reason that most study arises out of 20th-century approaches; yes, of course it draws on a lot of previous ideas, but what we study now is quite different from the comparative work of a century ago, and the writing of grammars on specific languages even further back. I think starting with the history rather than saying what linguistics is fundamentally about will confuse people. There's an article on the history stuff anyway; no need to further promote it. John Stephenson 21:58, 5 February 2007 (CST)
So, maybe we should skip it completely: I don't think that putting it at the end of the text makes it more accurate. But I think that is more relevant at the beginning of the text if we keep it. It may show how linguistics is different from older forms of language studies, while if we put it at the end, it has no connection with the rest of the article. The historical part is very short, and I think we can keep it as a brief introduction to what linguistics is by telling where it comes from. (In France, everybody is supposed to study a bit of philosophy of language during his last year in highschool but nobody studies linguistics before universtiy and many don't even know what it is about-well, I know that French education system is sometimes a bit peculiar)-Martin Kalck 02:32, 6 February 2007 (CST)
I think this plan is pretty clear: intro: what is modern linguistics; then how it differs from older approaches; then how language can be studied, then how it is studied. I don't think a list of linguistic "core areas" is very telling at the beginning of the article. Martin Kalck
Skipping most of it might not be a bad idea, as might more on how it differs from other language study. As I said above, I have little experience of 'history of linguistics' so am dubious about including all this Ancient Greeks stuff. However, in putting it towards the end we'd only be following the approach in many books: e.g. Aitchison's (2003) introductory work goes on about properties of language and the 'inner circles' (syntax etc.) before exploring the history - and even that largely ignores work before 1786. In other books I've seen there's not much of this stuff either. I just think that if I had no idea what linguistics was, I'd want a succinct definition and overview of the main fields, rather than being informed what people believed in the past, even though it is relevant for those wishing to know more. John Stephenson 03:58, 6 February 2007 (CST)
I do agree that references to the Greeks are unnecessary. I just feel somewhat uneasy letting people think that linguistics emerged out from nothing, while it was a central problem to some philosophers. I also removed the claim that modern linguistics was specific by trying to establish unviersal laws: this makes a difference with 19th century linguists but not necessarily with earlier philosophers (e.g Leibniz, or Anrault and Nicole) Martin Kalck 05:53, 6 February 2007 (CST)----
IMO, the introduction should immediately be followed by the core areas and then the other areas (which I think should be significantly expanded on). These are crucial for understanding what linguistics is about because the non-linguists will have absolutely no idea how complex language is and why it's worth studying. Everything else that comes before it (prescriptivism, speech vs writing) is not interesting unless you know that there is something *in* the field to be studied. --Joshua Tauberer 12:23, 7 February 2007 (CST)
On another hand, the first thing to know about linguistics is that it is descriptive. It needs to be clearly stated in the intro, and I believe it is. Then, you have to decide whether it is worth more development in the main article or not. If it is, it would be logical to put it toward the beginning: it is a very general topic that determines the nature of linguistics; and I think we should proceed from the general to the particular, i.e from something general about linguistics to a description of its various areas. YEt another solution may be to put the part on prescription in the "applied linguistics" section since it is explained that some prescriptions are "linguistically founded" and some are not. -As for me, I tend to think that we could do without an entire part on prescription in the main article, but I admit this is a purely personal view.
About the historical part, I suppose that Aitchinson (and other authors) didn't want to put off their readers who were not interested in history, but wanted nonetheless to write a short historical part for those who were, so they put it at the end, in an annex-like position. But cititzendium does not need such annexes: it can contain as many articles as we can write. So if we think something does not need to be put in the core of the article, we can move it to another article. (though again I think a very short historical paragraph at the beginning would not be a bad idea).
Anyway, I know I'm not the most competent on the subject here, and I will conform to your choices. --Martin Kalck 16:58, 7 February 2007 (CST)

"Instinct to communicate"

I don't think this is quite right: "Theoretical linguists are concerned with questions about the apparent human 'instinct' to communicate,[1]". I haven't read Pinker, so the reference may be correct, but my interpretation of the phrase "the language instinct" has always been not to take it in the sense that child birds will fly instinctually -- i.e. without being prompted to do so -- because children raised in isolation obviously don't just start speaking English, but rather in the sense that there is something deep, unconscious, and possibly native about language. I don't think that's expressed by "instinct to communicate." As a theoretical linguist in-training, I'm not concerned with something apparent, psychological/biological, or native (for that matter). --Joshua Tauberer 06:22, 10 February 2007 (CST)

Pinker doesn't say that language is biologically determined, either; input is needed as a trigger and subsequently. Maybe change the analogy to bird flight? John Stephenson 03:43, 12 February 2007 (CST)
Just changed it to 'bird song'. :-) John Stephenson 03:44, 12 February 2007 (CST)
Further to this, I've just flicked through The Language Instinct, and in the opening section there's an interesting analogy between language and spiders' webs. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to mention that if a spider isn't in the right environment (trees etc.) it'll never spin a web. But this doesn't mean that webspinning isn't innate. Also, Pinker makes the point that all prelingual infants babble, which suggests the system at work in thr absence of any experience. John Stephenson 22:24, 17 February 2007 (CST)

"Fields of linguistics"

I find it quite odd to call a part "fields of linguistics" and another "core areas". Aren't core areas fields of linguistics too? --Martin Kalck 03:37, 12 February 2007 (CST)

I thought about something like 'disciplines' for the latter; maybe a bit too high-brow? John Stephenson 03:43, 12 February 2007 (CST)
Mark Liberman at Penn has used "levels of linguistic description" versus "goals" of linguistics. --Joshua Tauberer 05:55, 12 February 2007 (CST)

See also

[Deleted from the article and archived here in case some links need to be restored; I've done this to tidy up the page. John Stephenson 22:16, 21 February 2007 (CST)]


Do you think it's worth illustrating the linguistics page with something like this? (This is just a test version for illustrative purposes, so it's rubbish.) John Stephenson 00:46, 22 February 2007 (CST)

The image has now been replaced. John Stephenson 07:43, 19 August 2008 (CDT)
Levels of linguistic knowledge involved in producing the utterance 'the cats'.

Properties of language (archiving material here

Deleted this:

It has been understood since the time of the ancient Greeks that languages tend to be organized around grammatical categories such as noun and verb, nominative and accusative, or present and past. The vocabulary and grammar of a language are organized around these categories.

In addition, language organizes elements into recursive structures; this allows, for example, a noun phrase to contain another noun phrase (as in the chimpanzee's lips) or a clause to contain a clause (as in I think that it's raining). Though recursion in grammar was implicitly recognized much earlier (for example by Otto Jespersen), the importance of this aspect of language was only fully realized after the 1957 publication of Noam Chomsky's book Syntactic Structures,[1] which presented a formal grammar of a fragment of English. Prior to this, the most detailed descriptions of linguistic systems were of phonological or morphological systems, which, especially in English, tend to be closed and admit little creativity.

Chomsky used a context-free grammar augmented with transformations. Since then, context-free grammars have been written for substantial fragments of various languages (for example GPSG, for English), but it has been demonstrated that human languages include cross-serial dependencies, which cannot be handled adequately by Context-free grammars. This requires increased power, for example transformations.

An example of a natural-language clause involving a cross-serial dependency is the Dutch[2][3]

Ik denk dat Jan Piet de kinderen zag helpen zwemmen
I think that Jan Piet the children saw help swim
'I think that Jan saw Piet help the children swim'

The important point is that the noun phrases before the verb cluster (Jan, Piet, de kinderen) are identified with the verbs in the verb cluster (zag, helpen, zwemmen) in left-right order.

This means that natural language formalisms must be relatively powerful in terms of generative capacity, which is to say that they must be able to account for very complex word orders and relations between the words. On the other hand, formalisms must not be too powerful so as to predict word orders that do not occur in any language. Some of the commonly studied formalisms include LFG, HPSG, Minimalism, Tree Adjoining Grammar, and Categorial Grammar. The formalisms all tend to be too weak or too powerful in various ways, and an important concern for theoretical syntax is to find how to constrain the formalisms to match the languages that we see.

Comparative or historical-comparative linguistics

Should Comparative linguistics get a bullet in the list of fields of linguistics? It's there but in an odd place.Pat Palmer 23:42, 4 April 2007 (CDT)

Along the same lines, the Language page mentions (and points to a non-existent article on) historical-comparative linguistics--is one of these a subgroup of the other? if not perhaps their representation on the lists in the linguistics page could be evened up...I'm not sure. The organization of the lists seems a bit haphazard.Pat Palmer 00:06, 5 April 2007 (CDT)
Comparative linguistics is supposed to be a subfield of historical linguistics, effectively, although it's disputable. All these subfields are confusing, though, as there's no much vying for attention. John Stephenson 04:21, 7 April 2007 (CDT)

Sanskrit, and the first linguists

I have removed this for now as I'm not sure it's really true (what do you think?):

In the early 19th century, the existence of Sanskrit became known to European scholars. By comparing it to languages such as Latin, Greek and Germanic languages, they became aware of the historical evolution of languages and tried to establish its laws. They were the first persons to consider themselves as linguist.

John Stephenson 05:02, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

Well, I suspect that to some extent that was true if we consider that there was increasing awareness of Sanskrit and other Asian languages, but these languages had been studied by some scholars for generations by then, hadn't they? Inevitably, British colonisation of India would be a factor, I am sure. In any case, I wouldn't want to include such a claim without citing specific sources to support it.

At what exact point previous philological and etymological studies turned into "historical evolution" approaches isn't entirely clear to me, but it certainly must have been connected to the growing overall awareness of evolution as a concept that would eventually express itself in biology with Darwin & Wallace's Natural Selection. When does historical change become "evolution"? I think it is when we can identify and explain how and why changes occur (i.e. have theories), rather than just document historical change.

Richard J. Senghas 05:41, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

Agreed; I think we should leave that out. Actually, I am unhappy with the use of 'evolution' as well; I know in popular talk it just seems to mean 'change', but in fact languages themselves don't evolve much; rather, they change cyclically. e.g. We see separate words become contracted, then merge into other words as inflections, then lose their morphological identity and disappear, just as other words come in to take their place, round and round... John Stephenson 23:40, 13 April 2007 (CDT)
OK, so let's leave the Sanskrit passage aside for now.
However, I do think 'evolution' as a term is often quite suitable when discussing language(s), if used carefully, --especially if we see it involving systematic changes, and can describe and explain why. I agree with you that evolution isn't simply 'change', so it shouldn't be used as an erudite sounding synonym for change, but I would argue that evolution DOES happen with Langauge and languages. Don't fall into the teleological trap, though, of needing direction to that change. Evolution could go in circles if circumstances select for seemingly circular development. Note that languages do acquire and lose traits, that those traits are selected for or against by speakers and listeners (for all kinds of reasons: intelligibility, ease of production/perception, but also social identity, &c.), and that usually language traits don't change in isolation. When a trait changes, that change in turn puts pressure on a system, so we typically see sets of changes. Of course, it isn't 'biological evolution' (except, of course, when we're talking about the emergence of the cognitive and physical capacities for Language, speech, and related phenomena), but biological evolution isn't the only form of evolution out there, and that particular biological phenomenon shouldn't preempt all other uses of the term, I feel. Evolution is basically a systems/ecological perspective on change over time, so we could --and should-- use it in our linguitics articles. In fact, it seems we'll have to write at least a passage, if not a whole article, on language evolution itself. (I wonder if Mufwene might want to contribute something to CZ?!)
Richard J. Senghas 02:40, 14 April 2007 (CDT)
OK, I see your point and to some extent go along with it. I'd still rather avoid the term to avoid confusion, except in relation to genuine language evolution topics, though. I'm one of those who is sceptical that the conditions of life/society/culture etc. can profoundly affect the system of language itself, only the peripheral bits - perhaps vocabulary choices, stylistic decisions etc. Given that evolution is about adaptation, I can see how one could argue that languages 'evolve' to fit the culture, with a vocabulary emphasising what speakers consider important, and so on (although why we have lots of words for 'walk' in English, when few spend a lot of time thinking about this, is a puzzle to me). John Stephenson 21:01, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Old introduction: some parts can be resurrected?

This is the introduction we had back in January, mainly written by me:

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Broadly, all linguists investigate language itself, rather than simply describe how particular languages work. For example, what generalisations can be established to account for the similarities between languages as diverse as English, Japanese and Zulu? How do they differ? What aspects of language are universal for all humans? Theoretical linguists concern themselves with questions about this apparent 'instinct' to communicate, and explain what it is that we intuitively 'know' about language.[4]
  1. Chomsky, Noam. 1957. "Syntactic Structures". Mouton, the Hague.
  2. Bresnan, Joan, Ronald Kaplan, Stanley Peters, and Annie Zaenen. 1982. Cross-serial dependencies in Dutch. Linguistic Inquiry 13:613-636.
  3. Shieber, Stuart. 1985. Evidence against the context-freeness of natural language. Linguistics and Philosophy 8:333-344.
  4. The view that language is an 'instinct' comparable to walking or bird flight is most famously articulated in Pinker (1994).

I think the use of questions makes it more interesting, in line with Larry's preference to use 'lively prose'. Perhaps the two could be merged in some way. John Stephenson 23:36, 13 April 2007 (CDT)

I agree, questions would (did!) feel more "alive" and interested (and thus interesting), and the use of questions also helps newcomers learn the motivations and orientations that draw us linguists to our particular studies. Let's try merging the two versions to include content changes, but resurrect the livelier prose. Richard J. Senghas 02:56, 14 April 2007 (CDT)
I've rewritten it; everyone please have a look and modify if necessary (both for content and how it reads). Maybe the following two paragraphs need reworking too. John Stephenson 21:25, 14 April 2007 (CDT)
Jag gillar det. I think it looks good, and agree that similar treatment might help the next two paragraphs. Richard J. Senghas 03:51, 15 April 2007 (CDT)

I like the introduction. But I still find the rest the article is somewhat indigestible. Maybe we needn't give such extensive lists of areas at the beginning of the article. I think we should rather develop on some capital points (e.g syntax from a non-psychological point of view, phonology, psycholinguistics and some applications of linguistics)--Martin Kalck 05:59, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

I'm not sure we should have pragmatics among the 'core areas', as this refers to knowledge outside language, rather than the system itself; cases where someone's intended meaning can't be derived from understanding the utterance meaning alone. John Stephenson 02:50, 9 May 2007 (CDT)
I tend to agree with you. But I'm not sure the distinction between 'field of linguistics' and 'core areas' is all clear from a theoretical point of view. There is obviously a difference between syntax and historical lingistics, or cognitive linguistics. But I'm not sure that the difference is that you imply a "adult, monolingual speaker" in the former and not in the latters. So, I think that it would be clearer if the article was organised by distinguishing several approaches to linguistics rather than enumerating disciplines, which may be more confusing than enlightening for the reader. In a way this would be quite similar to what was done with 'biology' : there are different approaches to biology that have developped at different periods (very roughly : observaton by naked eye, cell biology and molecular biology). Something similar could be done for 'linguistics' : the introduction explains what linguistics is about and then the article axplains various ways of studying language : as a structural system, from a generative point of view, from a psychological point of view and so on. It needn't be really historical : we don't need to tell what people wrongly believed at each period, but we can give the conclusions that were reached by each approach, and then go further in the following part. That would make the article more conceptual and avoid the question of what core linguistics is, which seems a little specious to me.--Martin Kalck 11:58, 10 May 2007 (CDT)
I'd like to make a STRONG pitch to keep pragmatics listed as a core area here. Linguistics often goes beyond formalism, and especially given the significant contributions of folks such as, say, Michael Tomasello, I think we have to address how important pragmatics has been, even if, (or especially because) it has been so debated. So, given that, I think Martin's suggestion about taking inspriation from the biology article is a fine one, worth exploring. I also think it worth noting the kinds of things that get noticed and pursued, depending on the backgounds and methods of the researchers. Field linguists tend to find different things than do those doing experiments "back home," and those with sociological and anthropological bents tend to address issues that differ from those coming from other approaches. Richard J. Senghas 13:19, 10 May 2007 (CDT)
I think you would expect a university Linguistics degree to include Pragmatics among its "core" classes, at least for an advanced degree. That's the case where I'm studying. So I, too, vote for leaving it where it is. Joshua M. Jensen 10:33, 1 September 2007 (CDT)

Requesting weblinks on linguistics department sites

See this post in the forums; I'm trying to get linguists and departments to link to this article. The page linking back to them is here. The first to agree to it was Gregory K. Iverson (phonology, SLA). John Stephenson 05:53, 21 April 2007 (CDT)

Natural language and human language

I don't think these are really the same thing. In computing, natural language processing (NLP) is the study of natural languages, with emphasis on understanding and production of natural language. The term is generally used in the context of algorithms and computer programs for working with human language. The qualifier "natural" is used because computer scientists are obviously also interested in artifical languages, such as programming languages. By contrast, the phrase human language suggests language used by humans. Greg Woodhouse 10:45, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Good point. So feel free to move this over to human language and redirect this page to it. At the moment, it's opposite (human language redirects to here). Pat Palmer 11:42, 14 May 2007 (CDT)
I partially reverted Pat's edit to the first sentence because I thought 'natural language' was confusing without indirectly defining it. I also didn't think 'human language' was necessary at this point, since they both go to the same page. John Stephenson 04:58, 17 May 2007 (CDT)


I'm starting to collect together language and linguistics-related images to put in a gallery - what do you think? Or should we just put them in the article itself? Check it out here - not yet arranged how we'd want it but at present just a place to dump any images I've come across. John Stephenson 04:53, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

I'm just now seeing this, John. I think the gallery idea is great, and this is an excellently done article, I think.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 02:44, 21 August 2007 (CDT)

Unclear to me

While in universities and research institutions worldwide, scholars are studying the facts of individual languages or the system of language itself to find evidence for theories or to test hypotheses, linguists are also at work in classrooms, clinics, courts and the highest levels of government.

Are you intending to contrast what these scholars do with linguists, or illustrate what they do by what linguists do? Or what?  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 03:14, 21 August 2007 (CDT)

The scholars and linguists bit is supposed to illustrate the difference between theoretical and applied linguistics. Will try to fix. John Stephenson 04:52, 21 August 2007 (CDT)

Pushing towards Approval

Hey folks, this article is looking quite good, and perhaps ready for the final push towards approval of its first version.

Does anyone have any immediate plans for adding or reformatting that should be executed before putting this up for approval? I think having some pictures or diagrams in the main article itself would be a great contribution, making it more inviting. (I also like having the gallery as an extra resource.) —Richard J. Senghas 23:34, 16 September 2007 (CDT)

I'd suggest just giving it a 10 day interim between nomination and approval. Seems the nomination prod really energizes people to make any needed changes/additions/what-have-yous.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 01:08, 17 September 2007 (CDT)
I think we could argue about the fields and core areas all day, and this has been the main issue holding approval of this article up. There are problems with it, notably that it goes into Wikipedia-style lists after a more interesting opener, and we should add some of the images to the main article. But fundamentally, I don't believe there are any deep issues with it. We can, after all, fine-tune a draft version following approved version #1. John Stephenson 05:28, 17 September 2007 (CDT)

Image talk

  • John Stephenson has created a gallery for linguistics, see here.

Also see:

 —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 00:55, 17 September 2007 (CDT)