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After Hours Conversation - Peter Mühlhäusler: The Dangers of "Blitz-Krieg" Fieldwork and the Virtues of Slow Research

When Oct 21, 2015
from 07:30 PM to 08:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Lounge
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97398
Attendees nach Einladung / by invitation
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A significant but indeterminate number of approaches to linguistics have been labelled “paradigm” on the grounds  of

  • redefinition of the object of investigation
  • new research questions
  • new methods
  • new terminology

Many of these claimed new paradigms have failed to attract a critical mass of scholars. Such instances of paradigm shifts that were successful owe their success to socio-historical contingencies rather than their being superior ways of capturing the nature of human language. Importantly, paradigm shift in linguistics is constrained by a body of Western metalinguistic beliefs, deeply entrenched metaphors of communication, and the expectations of the bodies funding, disseminating and benefiting from linguistic research.

A convenient survey of what the vast majority of linguists believe about language is given by Richard Hudson (1981) in “Some issues on which linguists can agree”.