Friday, January 28, 2005

Whither linguistics?

Language Log's Mark Liberman has an interesting post on the fate of linguistics as a discipline.
[I]t may help to view the past 150 years of intellectual history as a poker game. We [linguists] began with a bigger stake than almost anyone else at the table, and have been dealt a series of very strong hands. However, our field is now a marginal player, in danger of being busted out of the game entirely.
He goes on to point out that, at least at Stanford, it is apparently easy to get a Ph.D. in "English" without having any exposure to the discipline of linguistics at all. Something seems very wrong about that. You can't get a degree in business without taking economics.

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