WavesWashSands

Hong Kong

I am interested in all sorts of linguistic phenomena, especially historical syntax, syntactic typology, the syntax-semantics interface and the syntax-pragmatics interface. I don't feel the need to restrict myself to any particular school of linguistics yet, although I look at all Chomskyan work with suspicion and believe that it should be superseded by more plausible theories of grammar based on language use rather than the putative notion of language competence. With that said, I admire the mathematical formalism of early Chomskyan work, and hope the same rigour can be applied to functional linguistics to make more precise predictions. Methdologically, I am somewhat Bloomfieldian, and feel that linguistic corpora, analysed with sophisticated statistical modelling, should be our primary source of data. Controlled elicitation should be done with care and with reference to corpus data. Finally, I believe that linguistic typology is the ultimate test of any theory of language. Unfortunately, it is often the case in modern linguistics that mathematical beauty is valued over typological plausibility, which in the words of Evans and Levinson does 'Procrustean violence' to typologically diverse languages.

I've written a Reddit post on the scientific method and linguistics here. I immediately regretted after writing it because it took so much of my time, but I'm happy about it nonetheless, so I'm going to show it to you here.

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