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Theoretical Linguistics

An Open Peer Review Journal

Editor-in-Chief: Krifka, Manfred

Ed. by Gärtner, Hans-Martin

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Rank 44 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

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The wolf in sheep's clothing: Against a new judgement-driven imperialism

Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky1 / Matthias Schlesewsky2



Citation Information: Theoretical Linguistics. Volume 33, Issue 3, Pages 319–333, ISSN (Print) 0301-4428, ISSN (Print) 1613-4060, DOI: 10.1515/TL.2007.021, December 2007

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In this commentary, we discuss the limitations of linguistic judgements by comparing them to a variety of other empirical data types. In particular, we show that judgements are inherently multimensional in that they incorporate a range of linguistic and extra-linguistic influences, which cannot be teased apart by only considering the final judgement itself. Judgements of the gradient and time-insensitive type therefore give rise to the same interpretation problems as those faced by introspection. Thus, while we agree with Featherston that an improvement of data replicability in theoretical linguistics is highly desirable, we disagree with his claim that gradient judgements can provide significantly more grammatically-relevant information than other types of empirical data.

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