LINGUIST List 5.1302

Wed 16 Nov 1994

Disc: Linguistics and Acculturation

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  1. Hemant Desai, Re: 5.1265 Linguistics as "science"

Message 1: Re: 5.1265 Linguistics as "science"

Date: Fri, 11 Nov 1994 17:10:37 Re: 5.1265 Linguistics as "science"
From: Hemant Desai <>
Subject: Re: 5.1265 Linguistics as "science"

In reference to the excellent review of "linguistics and the notion of
science" I would like to point out one small inaccuracy. At the end of
the post there is a quote from a Beatles song, *Fool on the Hill*.

While this is credited solely to John Lennon, the song was actually
written by Paul McCartney (Paul can be seen singing the song in one of
the first "rock videos" ever made in the film *Magical Mystery Tour*).

Although Lennon and McCartney throughout the Beatles career-span
shared songwriter credits, they stopped active collaboration (with some
exceptions such as *A Day in the Life*) since about 1965.

What does this trivia have to do with linguistics? Well, the music of
the Beatles and the language they used, have influenced millions of
people the world over.

As a young boy growing up in India I fell in love with their music
which helped me considerably in both learning the English language and
appreciating western culture. Those linguists who are interested in
acculturation (are there any on this list? please contact me at the
email addres below) could study global influences like the prevalence
of fiction novels, hollywoood movies, TV (CNN), and pop music to account
for the spread of the English language in other cultures.

Since the study of culture and language go hand in hand, linguistics
necessarily is a multidisciplinary field that would have to include
sociological, historical, and psychological approaches.

To coin a phrase that sums it up (with apologies to Albert Einstein):

 Cultural studies that ignore language are lame, and
 linguistics that ignores culture is blind

Hemant Desai
Univ of Nebraska-Lincoln
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