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Theoretical Linguistics

An Open Peer Review Journal

Editor-in-Chief: Krifka, Manfred

Ed. by Gärtner, Hans-Martin

4 Issues per year

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Volume 33, Issue 3 (Dec 2007)


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

Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky
  • Independent Junior Research Group Neurotypology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences.
/ Matthias Schlesewsky
  • Department of Germanic Linguistics, University of Marburg.
Published Online: 2007-12-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TL.2007.021


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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Published Online: 2007-12-13

Published in Print: 2007-12-11

Citation Information: Theoretical Linguistics, ISSN (Print) 0301-4428, ISSN (Print) 1613-4060, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/TL.2007.021.

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