It has been theorized before that many of the perceived constraints on human language (and thus on any universal grammar of human language) are actually more likely to be constraints on the ways that human languages can change as they are transmitted from one generation to the next. On the other hand, language games, such as Pig Latin, Verlan, or Opish, often require transformations that violate the so-
Even more telling, certain kinds of hypercorrection in natural language have led to rules that clearly violate UG. The classic example is pronoun coordination
(1) Me and John are going to the store.
(2) Please be so kind as to forward that to John and I.
Once mainstream linguists stop labeling such examples as “theoretically infelicitous” (but nonetheless common) performance errors and look at the actual data
What will it take to make such obviously rule-
As such, the first recommendation of this committee is that linguists stop even trying to shoot down or shut up the pedantically pointless pronouncements of prescriptivists
More radically, the second recommendation of this committee is that introductory linguistics classes (i.e., the staple “Ling 101”) stop bothering to try to be a true introduction to the art and science of linguistics. Instead, make students’ first exposure to linguistics a course where undergrads’ grades depend on their ability to become fluent in language games like Pig Latin or Verlan. Since this could actually be fun for many students, such a winner of a class will likely increase enrollment in both the Ling 101 course and the following course (where real linguistics would be taught). The shock of the transition from total fluff to hardcore linguistics will likely decrease the number of eventual linguistics majors. This is a win-
Finally, we would like to say “ankyouthay!” to all our readers for your help and support in this matter.
Anderson, Stephen (1992). Amorphous Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ones-jay, Ey-tray (1993). As-lay of-lay et-yay un-lay-itled-tay. Houston: Rice University Press.
|Dr. Illiamway Afiresay, hDPay||Unilay-ersityvay of Ornay-ayway|
|Dr. Iamwill Iresaf, DPh||Tysiverniu of Waynor|
|Dr. Willopiamop Safopireop, PophopDop||Uopniopveropsioptyop of Noropwayop|