Published June 23, 2021 | Version v1
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From community competition to complementarity in general linguistics: The eight complementary why questions

  • 1. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology


In this presentation, I first ask whether general linguists need to be organized in competing communities (functional linguists, structural linguists, generative linguists, cognitive linguists, etc.), and my tentative answer is no. Instead, linguists could think of their methodological choices as complementary. I suggest that this will be facilitated by recognizing that there are in fact eight different theoretical questions of general linguistics which are as complementary as Tinbergen's famous four why questions in biology.



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