Why and why not?

As you probably noticed, several of the research projects I listed yesterday deal with the fundamental question of the driving forces of linguistic diversity and disparity. This all reminded me of one of my favourite Hjelmslev-quotes that we've posted before, but that always can do with some repetition.

[the aim of linguistic typology/theory] must be to show which structures are possible, in general, and why it is just those structures, and not others, that are possible

A famous quote that tells us a lot about the field of linguistics, or at least the aims of certain parts of the field.

Form Hjelmslev, Louis (1970[1963]) Language. An introduction. Madison: The University of wisconsin press [translation by Francis. J Whitfield of Hjelmslev (1963) Sproget. En introduktion. Copenhagen: Berlingske Forlag,(page 96)

Louis Hjelmslev (1899-1965)
Louis Hjelmslev


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