By John B. Haviland.
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Being fictions, they are not the sorts of things that could be innate. To argue otherwise is to confuse fiction with reality, to confuse the logical domain and the physical, to confuse philosophy with science. One cannot have a science that invents its own objects of study and introduces them by assumption. For too long modern linguistics has been dominated by the concerns of philosophy and grammar, received in a long tradition of inspired speculation from ancient times but walling it off from science.
If we give priority to science, we must give up the goal of studying language. Giving up language in favor of science would be a victory for linguistics, not a defeat. If we study the people who speak and understand rather than studying language, we can actually build a genuine hard-science linguistics that can stand among the other natural sciences and take the place of the present autonomous softscience linguistics. The other natural sciences are built on hard-science foundations and each has a conceptual structure that is specific to its subject ISSUES IN HARD-SCIENCE LINGUISTICS ¥ 17 matter.
The challenge is to extricate real results from mere artefacts of one grammatical theory or another and to reconstitute linguistics on hardscience foundations. 7. How is hard-science linguistics related to the rest of science? Hard-science linguistics studies real people and their communicatively relevant surroundings from the point of view of how they communicate. Thus hard-science linguistics is not only cognate with the other sciences in its criteria and assumptions, it joins the family of sciences in studying aspects of the real physical world.
Guugu Yimidhirr : sketch grammar by John B. Haviland.