First off, it’s important to note that the most important issue in linguistics is always the most recent issue of Speculative Grammarian
A more common interpretation of the notion of “important issues in linguistics” concerns, of course, questions to be answered and problems to be solved. Lists of such invariably speculate on whether there is a meaningful definition of a word, a sentence, a syllable, or a language. They wonder about gradient well-
This is a baffling state of affairs for two reasons. On the one hand, many of these questions, while philosophically interesting, are inherently unknowable. Even if we were to document over a hundred thousand years the development of full-
So that’s that sorted.
What we should be focusing on are problems that can be dealt with definitively. For example, I recently saw some data presented like this:*
`dog', `cat', `fish', `bird'
That is a typographic nightmare of apocalyptically epic proportions! How...? Why...? What the...?
The solution however, is straightforward: private shaming, followed by public shaming, followed by [CENSORED].**
See, there’s a problem we can actually solve. Get crackin’!
* The actual terms used have been changed to protect the guilty from the All Seeing Eye of Google.
** The SpecGram Legal Interns have decided that actually advocating actual violence apparently crosses some apparent line. Pfft.