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Problems of Methodology and Philosophy in Linguistics


Ireneusz Bobrowski

The book is not only dedicated to linguists, but also to readers who are not familiar with notations developed in linguistics. The first part of the study presents philosophical justifications for linguistic settlements. These are based on the phenomenological reduction of Edmund Husserl, Karl R. Popper’s falsificationism, the moderate rationalism of science of Izydora Dąmbska and Andrzej Bogusławski’s lack of the nomological explanation in linguistics. The second part presents a re-examination of the solutions proposed in the field of linguistics, some new philosophical explanations and a discussion of the truth of linguistic propositions.
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Phenomenological Reduction (Edmund Husserl)


Izydora Dąmbska’s concept of moderate rationalism allows us to assume certain premises without the necessity of their rational justification. Nonetheless it does not exempt us from the obligation of searching for argumentation supporting earlier assumptions. Undoubtedly, building a convincing and coherent linguistic theory based on these assumptions is an important argument in its evaluation. What seems even more important is to find their philosophical foundations. In the following part of this deliberation I will present the proposition put forward in RL of founding linguistic theory in Edmund Husserl’s philosophical system.

Before referring to those aspects of phenomenology which I consider crucial in regard to the foundations of linguistic theory, let us give a little thought to its basic premises. Most of these issues are very well known, hence this overview will focus mostly on the controversies that they arouse.

As well as the distinction between synchrony and diachrony, twentieth century linguistics developed a distinction between text and language. Text is a concrete being, e.g. the text of this book, whereas the language, understood as a system of signs and the rules of their usage, is an abstract concept invented by linguists for cognitive purposes. This vital concept of twentieth century linguistics came into being due to a certain reasoning – namely, if after I have spoken a text, there exists a person capable of understanding this text who answers with a text that I understand, then I may risk the conclusion that the text...

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