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Linguistics as a Science - a Historical Philosophical Study

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The science of linguistics

A novel concept of treating linguistics as the object of the history of science can help reveal linguists’ self-perception as scientists and shed new light on its historical and philosophical implications.

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Linguistics is known as the scientific study of language. An EU-funded project LINGUISTICSSCIENCE (Linguistics as a science — a historical philosophical study) explored the scientific analysis of natural languages, taking a multidisciplinary approach, combining strategies of perspectives from the history and philosophy of science. One of the two angles used by the project included an argument for recounting the history of linguistics over the past 200 years from a scientific perspective. By doing so, it can contribute to learning about its various developments. The second angle claims that the methodology of the philosophy of science can be useful for probing linguistic theories as well as their scientific and social aspects. The study involved the various schools of linguistics. A review of the literature of the philosophy of science centred on the rift between the hard sciences and the humanities. Studying reciprocal constructions and the various theories related to them, such as verbal encoding reciprocity and the directionality of grammaticalisation, was also included. Advancements were made in the study and several publications have subsequently resulted. Furthermore, two additional topics were added to the study, which included Datival Constructions and negation. Both topics intersect with linguistics and philosophy. Results will be useful not only in the field of linguistics but also in other fields, and may be of importance to the broader study of the history of science.


Linguistics, history of science, philosophy, verbal encoding reciprocity, Datival Constructions, negation

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