SpecGram Vol CLXX, No 1 Contents Letters to the Editor

Questioning Answers

A Letter from the Executive Editor

Dear Readers,

Here in the editorial chambers of SpecGram we have often debated the age-old questions: is syntax more basic than discourse, or the other way around; why does phonology work so well when reduced to hyper-simplistic binary contrasts; and are you more likely to get tenure by documenting how people talk in some language or by talking about language documentation?

Tobias Roth, 2014, Wortverbindungen und Verbindungen von W├Ârtern, Narr Dr. Gunter.

Chiasmus of the Month
May 2014

The answers to these questions are either exhilarating or depressing, depending on whether or not you’ve just spent an entire day trying to edit your latest paper to satisfy an anonymous reviewer who didn’t give clear evidence of having grasped the main point (or particularly of being a linguist to begin with), and who felt that half of your sentences were too long.

And that’s just the point, isn’t it? Answers are not reliably encouraging to us as linguists. It’s questions that we find fascinating.

Therefore, the Editors of SpecGram do hereby performatively propose that all linguistics journals follow our lead and give up printing purported answers to linguistic questions. Let’s all just stick to rephrasing, clarifying, and generally delighting in, the questions.

That’s probably enough to keep us busy, and for sure it’s enough to keep us all happy. Very happy indeed.

Don’t you agree?

Letters to the Editor
SpecGram Vol CLXX, No 1 Contents