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Speaking American: A History of English in the United States

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Language, Literacy, and Technology

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Academic Paper


Title: Functionalism isn't formalism: an interactive review of Darnell et al. (1999)
Author: Andrew Carnie
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://dingo.sbs.arizona.edu/~carnie/
Institution: University of Arizona
Author: Norma Mendoza-Denton
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Arizona
Linguistic Field: Linguistic Theories
Abstract: SETTING: The University of Arizona's idyllic desert campus. As in many colleges across the United States, 'formalist' linguistics is implicitly understood to be at cross-purposes with 'functionalist' linguistics. The Linguistics Department's only course on non-minimalist syntax is famously nicknamed 'Bad Guys'. Although the linguistics department forms a unified front, malcontent quietly simmers across campus as functionalist sociolinguists, discourse analysts, grammaticalization specialists and linguistic anthropologists outnumber formalists, though they roam within their own language-department fiefdoms. Politeness and cooperation reign among senior faculty linguists, who have realized that antagonism only hurts students and programs in all the language sciences. The junior faculty are more brash: they work hard, publish a lot, and speak loudly to get tenure as respected form-functionalists. They socialize together and joke about each other's positions, but don't talk very much serious shoptalk. Until now...

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 39, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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