Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: Hulst, Harry

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.676
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.831

CiteScore 2016: 0.52

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.662
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.573

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 21, Issue 3-4 (Sep 2004)


On the status of linguistics with particular regard to typology

Gilbert Lazard
  • Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes.
Published Online: 2005-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2004.21.3-4.389


It seems that a need for clarifying the theoretical basis of linguistics is presently more or less widely felt. The aim of linguistic theory is to specify in what ways natural languages differ and in what ways they are all alike. This article advocates a kind of structuralist functionalism inspired by the Saussurean doctrine, which is claimed to be apt to help linguists to get a clearer view of what they are doing in contradistinction to other cognitive scientists, and to bring linguistics closer to the status of a science. In particular, the main problem of typological research and the quest for empirical universals, which is the lack of an objective independent standard for comparing languages, is examined and a way out of that difficulty is suggested. In conclusion, a few thoughts are given to the question of how explanation is or should be conceived in linguistics.

About the article

Published Online: 2005-07-27

Published in Print: 2004-09-13

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2004.21.3-4.389.

Export Citation

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in