Typology and coevolutionary linguistics

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Linguistic typology has much to be proud of and has arguably done more thanany other subfield of linguistics to chart and systematise the full dimensions ofvariability across the world’s languages. Its quest to balance the study ofvariability with the need for comparability has done much to hold togetherthose parts of the field in danger of unintegrable particularism (always a dangerfor descriptivists from the structuralist tradition, treating each language solely interms of its own“genius”) with the grand questions of what general principlesunderlie human language in all its spectacular diversity. One only has to look atother fields studying human culture where the prevailing ethos has rejected thepossibility of comparability–anthropology and ethnomusicology are two exam-ples–to imagine how different the field of linguistics would now be withouttypology to hold together these opposing forces over the last half a century ormore. (19) Typology and coevolutionary linguistics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)505-520pp.
    JournalLinguistic Typology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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