Linguistics, Science and the Humanities: A New Synthesis?
A reconsideration of where language stands in relation to the science/humanities divide. Can the concept of 'a language', on any interpretation, constitute the subject-matter of a science? We conclude that languages are second-order cultural constructs arising out of the first-order activity of making and interpreting signs. To say this is on the face of it to remove linguistics from the realm of science. At the same time it opens up the possibility of rehabilitating an essentially humanistic perspective on language as a perpetual process of linguistic creation and showing how that perspective has a place in an overarching science of human cognition.
Keywords: Language, Linguistics, Science vs Humanities, Distributed Cognition
Professor Nigel Love
Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Cape Town
Dr Stephen Cowley
Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire