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Philosophy of langauge, linguistics and psychology

Research Achievements

Philosophy of langauge, linguistics and psychology

A new interdisciplinary area for our IGERT was opened up in the juncture between philosophy of language, linguistics, and psychology. Linguists' judgments of the acceptability of sentences have formed the core data for modern theoretical linguistics. But psychologists have worried that linguists' own intuitions about their native language are not independent of the theories those intuitions are intended to test. But among philosophers, linguists have been argued to be the most reliable source of acceptability judgments. In joint work with new associated faculty member Steven Gross, IGERT student associate Jennifer Culbertson has produced important new experimental evidence supporting the view that, as with any other, the task of judging acceptability requires some familiarity, but otherwise the judgments of linguists are not systematically different from those of any other speakers. As a source of data, linguists are not better than other speakers, but neither are they worse.