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--- Paul Bennett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Get a decent linguistics dictionary, and keep it
> handy. You wont be sorry.
> I paid fifteen pounds for mine, and it's probably
> the best fifteen pounds
> I ever spent.
>
The important thing to understand is that linguistics
is not a science, it is a mess of contradictory
theories, evolving all the time. Only on very few
terms most of the authors agree (I think morpheme and
phoneme are two of them; maybe there are some more).
Many authors made their own private vocabulary and
forged their own concepts. Then you have to take into
account the translation of these vocabularies into
foreign languages. The same word can often be
understood in very different ways, depending which
linguistics school, or club, you're familiar with. Or
you can have different words meaning apparently the
same.

Also, every time you read some interesting theory from
a well-known linguist, you can bet that some other
well-known linguist proved that is is false from A to
Z and that the his honorable fellow linguist had
"kacha v golove" (porridge inside his head).

Even for the most basic part of linguistics, namely
phonetics, where one would incline to think that
things are now rather well-defined and clear, people
hardly agree (see discussions on this list). So
imagine what it is when it's about syntax and
semantics.

Well, after all, that's probably the fun of it. If
everything was clear and clean, it would all be pretty
dull.








=====
Philippe Caquant

"High thoughts must have high language." (Aristophanes, Frogs)

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