April 09, 2006

The Four Subjects of Linguistic Analysis

Mark Liberman's post relating William Matthews' Four Subjects of Poetry (here) made me  wonder what the four subjects of linguistic analysis might be. It's hard to keep it to four, but there's a humble start after the jump.

1. I've analyzed a whole bunch of language phenomena and what I've found corrects/amplifies/changes completely what the rest of you less enlightened folks have to say about this subject.

2. I've discovered a spanking new language phenomenon and so, ta-da, here it is in all its glory.

3. I've gone to great pains to compare language phenomenon #1 with language phenomenon #2 and I found:
    a. one of the two is more accurate or useful or pleasing or relevant than the other one, or
    b. the two are either the same or so similar that it doesn't really make any difference.

4. I've discovered that a certain older language issue is still relevant today, so take that, you modern whipper-snappers.

Posted by Roger Shuy at April 9, 2006 07:20 PM