Chapter published in:History of Linguistics 2017: Selected papers from the 14th International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences, (ICHoLS 14), Paris, 28 August – 1 September
Edited by Émilie Aussant and Jean-Michel Fortis
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 127] 2020
► pp. 65–78
Why is it so hard to establish gestalt ideas within linguistics?
I call holistic and relativistic approaches to language gestalt linguistics. Although there have been some efforts to integrate them into linguistics, they have never formed part of mainstream linguistics. This article tackles the “why” of this diagnosis. Historic exclusion of psychology from linguistics, the fact that the perceptual gestalt theory is not a genuine linguistic theory and that it deals with preconscious grouping principles but not with symbolic linguistic units, the vagueness of gestalt concepts, and the lack of a proper formalism are aspects of the answer.
Keywords: gestalt formalism, gestalt laws, gestalt linguistics, gestalt psychology, perception, phenomenology, phonology, structuralism, wholeness
Published online: 20 May 2020