Publication details [#5490]

Hakulinen, Auli. 2007. Silmayksia fennistiikan historiaan (Glances into the history of Finnish studies). 8 pp.


In response to a challenge to predict the state of various scientific and technical fields 50 years in the future, the utopian vision for linguistics would be the preservation of all endangered languages and the production of at least an elementary grammar of each of them; the pessimistic prediction, however, is that by 2056 even Finnish will be swamped by English as a world lingua franca. As the recent past of a field offers the best background for predictions of its near future, the state of linguistics 50 years ago is reviewed with special attention to the effect of the 1957 publication of Noam Chomsky's Syntactic Structures on linguistics in the US and Finland, which may have obscured the significance of other innovative developments in language typology, sociolinguistics, ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, and the first attempts to address ethnodological puzzles in the investigation of new areas as varied as metaphor, irony, the language of Japanese women, the use of humor by lawyers, and the melodies of children's speech at play. The history of linguistics in Finland over the past 50 years is dominated by the development of sharp dichotomies within the field, e.g. structure vs. usage and cognition vs. communication. (J. Hitchcock) (LLBA, Accession Number 200711652, (c) CSA [2008]. All rights reserved.)