. You make up and idea for how things are structured (the hypothesis).
. You devise an objective test in order to try and prove the idea false.
. If the test is passed then you are happier with your idea.
. If not you rethink your idea
Corpus linguistics is all about experiments, so I think it reasonably qualifies as science.
'Traditional' linguistics (here I KNOW I'm going to be shot) - of the sort based on intuitions and introspection is probably an art in that there were no objective tests.
In all cases you can do bad science and of course introspection is where our ideas come from.
I have no idea why you think that reconstructing a parent language is required for linguistics to be a science. I do not believe modern biology is capable of constructing the first primordial microbe, given a monkey and a fly, but that hardly makes it less of a science.
(Sorry Yuri - first time round I only sent it to you so you have 2 copies!)
From: corpora-bounces at uib.no [mailto:corpora-bounces at uib.no] On Behalf Of Yuri Tambovtsev Sent: 23 March 2010 08:02 To: corpora at uib.no Subject: [Corpora-List] Do you think LINGUISTICS is SCIENCE or ARTS?
Dear Corpora colleagues, Do you think LINGUISTICS is SCIENCE or ARTS? I think the discussion about linguistics using either the scientific or artistic methods, is quite interesting. Really, is it ARTS (the Humanities) or Science. If we divide this man activity into Sciences and Arts, then linguistics for the exception of phonetics is Arts. Can linguistics reconstruct some parent language? We know that all the Romance languages have the parent language, i.e. Latin. But can linguists reconstruct Latin on the basis of Italian, Spanish, French and other Romance languages? The answer is NO. If linguistics had been SCience, then it would have been possible. But it is ARTS, thus it is impossible. Or am I mistaken? Looking forward to hearing from you either directly yutamb at mail.ru or via the net. Be well, Yuri Tambovtsev
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