Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Program
    Applied Linguistics

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Nel's Achievements


Decaf (2/10)



  1. The ranking generated is from PhDs.org, which takes its raw data directly from the NRC 2005-2006 survey. PhDs.org does not belong to the Chronicle, but was originally created by a maths professor @ Dartmouth on a Sloan Foundation Grant. It has been around since the last NRC report. As the current 2010 NRC report do not put out rankings, they subcontracted the ranking work to phds.org to do the number crunching based on their data. The list above is tabulated based on said criterions in my initial post. There is no mix up with Applied Linguistics and Linguistics at UCLA, Both departments exist in UCLA. The Linguistics Department @ UCLA has been ranked 15-25 based on my selected criterions. "R" measure does not mean "reputation" but regression-based quality score based on 20 program variables. Similar "S" measure is the survey-based quality score, based off the same 20 program variables. Both measures only defer in the methodology used to determine weights of the 20 variables. Also, I did not report on only the "S" measure, but have placed equal weighting to both "S" and "R" measure as being extremely important, as well as research productivity and student outcomes, in generating the ranking. But you are right in saying that if we were to only use the "R" measure (regression-based quality score), and ignoring other criterions such as the survey-based quality score, research productivity, student outcome etc., Hopkins, MIT and Chicago are tied for #1. A more detailed explication would be (1-14) Chicago, (1-17) MIT, (1-19) Hopkins, in that order. We can still discriminate a precise ranking if we also take into consideration the lower range. However, I still think my tabulation based on additional relevant criterions such as the "S" measure, research productivity and student outcome etc. reflects a more accurate picture of the latest NRC ranking.
  2. The latest NRC Ranking on Linguistic programs is just out today. Instead of having a definite hierarchy, NRC has chosen to give ranks in terms of range. Nonetheless, we can still satisfy our urge to rank stuff using PhDs.org (link: http://graduate-school.phds.org/rankings/linguistics) which utilizes the NRC data but customizes the criterions we deem important. By placing importance to only the NRC Quality measure (equal weighting of extremely important to both regression-based and survey based quality score), Research Productivity (all criterions included as extremely important) and Student Outcome (only placement rate and overall support & outcome as extremely important), the list below ranks the top 11 Linguistic Ph.D. program (just because there were 2 equally ranked universities in the 10th position) in the U.S. (with the range in front and the relevant department behind). 1-1 John Hopkins University (Cognitive Science) 2-2 University of California-Los Angeles (Applied Linguistics) 3-9 University of Massachusetts Amherst (Linguistics) 3-9 University of Pennsylvania (Linguistics) 3-10 University of California-Berkeley (Linguistics) 3-12 University of Maryland-College Park (Linguistics) 3-13 University of Chicago (Linguistics) 4-14 Stanford University (Linguistics) 5-15 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Linguistics) 5-16 San Diego State University (Language and Communicative Disorder) 5-16 University of California-San Diego (Language and Communicative Disorder) Feel free to comment if this runs counter-intuitive to your own perception, or if you think this is a good ranking of the current status of Linguistics Ph.D. programs in the U.S.
  3. I'm in applied linguistics at UCLA but I've been on an exchange in UBC for about 6 months in 2001. Great place! Loved the surroundings, especially the towering pines and little animals running about the place. I deemed Vancouver as one of the most livable cities in the world.
  4. Fuzzylogician: If informal speech is the register you're aiming for, you can try the British National Corpus (BNC), although I'm unsure of the size of its informal register, its total corpus is about 10 million words (or has it become a billion?), I'm pretty sure it's informal speech is also quite substantial. Also, when you say informal speech, do you mean monologues? Or are they interactive dialogues? In monologues, do you mean political speeches, academic lectures or public announcements etc.? But given that you mentioned 'informal', do you then mean dialogues as in everyday conversation? For everyday conversation you can try the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken English. Or do you do other languages? The availability of different kinds of corpus is usually much closer than most people think.
  5. Have been busy with a paper........ Hi chillofrito! Wacky maybe, but highly informative, I like it anyway. Why don't you tell us what you do and your contribution to this topic. To fuzzylogician: I'm not trying to win points here or start a flame-war, I thought I should say that outright now. I'm just looking for some sort of frank assessment on the different criticism of the fields and have a well-meaning discussion about its validity. I'm happy to hear that formalism is moving towards a more functionalist perspective and eagerly anticipate to see a change in methodology and premise. On that note, I agree that there is a primary, albeit underlying, distinction between formalism and functionalism, and that is as you mentioned, if research should have a purpose. We do think that research should serve a higher purpose. However, I cannot agree with your assumption that functionalism does not make predictions and therefore serves a random world. This is not a field purely built to disprove formalism, it has a basic premise that linguistic practices are the product of external factors, and hence its predictions are grounded on how these external factors will continue to influence language practices. It is structured in that way. The point of contention is HOW and WHAT sort of predictions are made in formalism. Namely in formalism (or ex-formalism), predictions are made through testing mathematical formulations on artificially constructed sentences (HOW) to say what amazingly cannot be found in the real world is possible, or what is sometimes frequently found in the real world as wrong or "ungrammatical" (WHAT). Nevertheless your final paragraph sounds very empirical "we base them on observable facts (e.g., such-and-such is a non-occurring utterance)", and a point I agree on. This is something functionalist do as well. We do not only look at what is there, but when someone makes a construction we haven't seen before, we can say "hey, that's not available in our data and hence probably not true." I think we have a problem only when formalist makes a claim on a rule-based generalization and say that just because it's not seen in authentic data doesn't mean it does not exist, that it's only a problem with performance not competence. To Dinali: On that note, I think it links to Dinali's point on premise and methodology. My point is that they are not mutually independent. Your premise has an influence on how you craft your methodology. For example, because the premise of formalism (ex-formalism?) is that something that cannot be seen, or don't even occur, in authentic language data is nevertheless "possible" and real, so its methodology does not place a premium on empiricism. Though the premise may not be wrong (it may not be right either), the methodology developed out of this premise has generated rule-based generalization not grounded in empiricism but on intuition. Then using these rules, formalist say such-and-such a sentence is possible or well-formed and vice versa, but when functionalist points out that it's not found or abundantly found in the corpus, formalist attributes this to either lack of performance or say that external pragmatic factors has rendered it a non-occurring case of a "possible" sentence. IF this is the case, what exactly are formal linguists predicting? Why put up the fence on a field so interdisciplinary? I agree even in functional linguistics, the disciplines are so varied (cognitive linguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, anthropological linguistics, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, conversation analysis etc.) that they may not share every notion and concerns. However, it is on the above two dimensions: premise and methodology, that forms a foundational and uncompromising distinction that determines, for lack of a less provocative word (provide me with one please), acceptable scholarship. To put everything in perspective, this debate on formalism versus functionalism has been going on for a long time (not here in a forum but between established academics). The longevity of this debate attest to why its an uncompromising "fence" and also that we're not going to see eye to eye on this. Predictably, we're going to have to agree to disagree. However, I think it's good that we're able to put up our respective side of the picture and perhaps leave judgement to people not on either sides of the camp.
  6. I really like this one, I'm going to work this into the conversation next time I encounter the question again.
  7. You're right, as I said before, I'm not familiar with current trends in formal linguistics and would be glad to know more about how things work now. The criticisms cited, however, are not outdated. Please refer to previous posts on similar criticisms made more recently by scholars in the field. Nevertheless I am having trouble seeing why it's pointless to debate upon justified criticism. The investigation of an utterance taking out of it natural contextualized environment for additional meaning may have value in its own right. However, from the perspective of a few functional disciplines (such as CA and DA), the meaning of an utterance is not unilaterally embedded within its form but also in concert with its sequential environment (meaning what it is in response to), its recipient-designedness (meaning how a particular recipient may only allow a single reading of the utterance) and other such contextual cues. From this perspective, the de-contextualized utterance is, indeed, meaningless, in the sense it serves no purpose or function other than an object for the analyst to play with. I think you've just very concisely summarized the differences (or functionalists' criticism) of the fields. There is the underlying premise that "what isn't there" is a "fact you can't see", even though it "cannot occur", it can be "predicted"? Has much of the formalist's theories been disproved by counter evidence? My limited knowledge on all the theories of formal linguistics prevents me from giving any warranted comments. But one contribution of corpus linguistics has been the findings that much of what formal linguists debate about does not even occur in actual everyday context (For one such reading, refer to Hongyin Tao & Charles Meyer (2006) "Gapped coordinations in English: Form, usage and implications for linguistics theory"). Though it may not be innately wrong because you don't see something, any such theories of what you don't see have to be grounded in the observable extrapolated results (things you can see) of the very same theory. For example, though we can't see gravity, the theory of gravity and it's mathematical formulation has proven reliable, and more importantly useful, in a myriad number of ways. However, from what I know, much of what is theorized in formal linguistics has yet to be grounded in observable results (extrapolated or not). I am not informed enough to say if formal linguistics has began to address this issue.
  8. Sure. I was accuse of something I did not do in the "Cheating" thread and I had to defend myself. I don't think that's going to happen here. In the textbook samples of van Riemsdijk & Williams (1986), Introduction to the Theory of Grammar, the following were given as example of acceptable and non-acceptable sentences under generative grammar: 1. Who did Jo think said John saw him? 2. John I believe Sally said Bill believed Sue saw. 3. John wants very much for himself to win. 4. *What did Sally whisper that she had secretly read? 5. *The boys read Mary
  9. Point #10 may be harsh, but I merely cited my sources. However, in terms of data-gathering and empiricism, this is what Chomsky had to say in a 2004 interview: "Corpus linguistics doesn
  10. I do not think that the label of "functional linguist" excludes theoretical research. I believe the "functional" part does not mean "applied X without delving into the theory of it", it's more to do with emphasizing the empiricism within functional theory, as opposed to abstract mathematical formulation of grammar based on intuitive data of the formal school.
  11. Point well-noted and agreed upon (I guess I'm just not used to being abusively maligned). In response to waitingtoexhale: You've just hit the nail on the head. When I asked "So it would be interesting to know where such a thing is actually ignored, or as the prior poster says, differing ideas of what education is", and that "We know for certain that plagiarism (or whatever kind of euphemism you may want to use) is explicitly and strongly communicated as a no-no in the U.S. and most other countries I know of even in the first year of undergraduate studies", I guess I was unhappy in the OP's characterization of a personal failure to be the result of his/her country's cultural norm in an academic setting, or in the OP's words "a common practice". Being an international student myself (and from one of the places thepoorstockinger mentioned in his post), I find it hard to believe that what the OP has committed can be attributed to common practice or because there is "little such honor policy" in any country's academic setting. However, I am fully open to hear what these "different idea of what education is in some education systems" is, because as thepoorstockinger puts it, this is possible. But to say I am "finger pointing towards education systems of different nations", "discuss the perceived honesty of every country" or that I am doing singular characterization of different nation's education system, are accusations I am unable to accept. That, I hope, puts a clear perspective on my original question that was taken to be something else.
  12. I repeat: I repeat: I don't see how putting forward a point by giving supportive literature is bogus. I repeat: Don't worry, you paraphrased the gist of the book for me, I'm not going to read the book based on the "recommendation by a discussion board nutjob". You asked "How would knowing which country OP is from change anything?" I replied "It doesn't....it would be interesting to know where such a thing is actually ignored, or as the prior poster says, differing ideas of what education is." You criticized "this degeneration of the discussion to finger pointing towards education systems of different nations is unnecessary at best, bigoted at worst." I countered "the above characterization is putting words into my mouth." You withdrew your comment "Have to admit that is most definitely true . It's a prerequisite for a pointless flame war." I appreciated your honesty "Thank you, I do enjoy a war-of-words sometimes....but ((singing Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire"))" You said you didn't understand. "I did find the whole "Don't think of an elephant!" angle irrelevant and still do." I said I understood your difficulty "Unfortunately, you would need to have read the book and have some basic understanding of how language is used cognitively to understand my comments" I didn't write the algorithm and not understanding someone does not make his comments irrelevant.
  13. Of course you do, I didn't say you didn't. If you trace my comments, I was responding to Jakrabite. Again, I didn't ask anyone to go read up a whole book FOR them to "fathom what I write in my posts". I did paraphrase my point being "how frames reinforce ideas and what facts and language will come through a person's respective filters or frames." I was making a point by citing scholarly work, the way we have to cite sources and give credit to findings in academic articles, I did not use it exclusively to communicate. And yes, linguistics is a science, I agree. It's not a fallacy, it's taking mathematical logic, instead of argumentative logic, to incorrectly position linguistic phrases. "Yea, right!" in this context is unproblematic, but would need to be employed with a clear and specific prosodic contour. It is this prosodic feature layered upon the semantic of the words that somehow reverse the polarity of a positive semantical meaning into a negative pragmatic meaning. It's called cynicism. No I don't see it. You would have to qualify what you mean by "in the same breath". I was saying that Jakrabite's statement committed a logical fallacy, and the same statement also works to reveal his frame of mind at the same time. I don't see how that is a logical fallacy or a contradiction.
  14. Though my statements are made in gross generalization, I believe they do reflect the majority of how proponents and graduate students of formal grammar work. Below is just one of the many resources available explicating differences: http://courses.essex.ac.uk/lg/lg554/FormalSocio.html Copied from the website is the following, although it compares formal linguistics and sociolinguistics, the same can also be said for formal linguistics and functional linguistics in general (Note some of the points in bold): Some problems with common formal linguistics approaches: 1) Often, "evidence in generative linguistics does not consist of observations of events, and therefore... does not [allow] law-like generalizations" (Carr) - i.e. it does not fit the model of physical science which it claims to follow 2) Focuses on mental phenomena - e.g. sentences, speaker judgments - which are "purely speaker-internal - representations of linguistic realities, which are speaker-external" (Carr) 3) Focuses on the deducible competence of an idealized speaker/hearer, typically a monolingual 'native speaker' in a stable, homogeneous monolingual community, despite massive evidence that such speakers do not exist and would indeed be dysfunctional. 4) Limits itself to intuitive data on standard languages by educated, privileged speakers, thus perhaps reinforcing non-standard bias and the low status of non-standard speakers. 5) "Differences in data" studied are profound: Formal linguists study a much smaller subset of actual language used than sociolinguists. 6) "The selection of a data type has a profound influence on the range of phenomena which a model aims to represent and a theory aims to explain" (Schiffrin) 7) Lacks or fails to use an explicit methodology for collecting and handling data. Does not recognize that typical methods of doing so involve distortions of data due to speaker awareness of observation. Consequently, rarely attempts to correct distortions and improve data-handling methods. 8 ) Makes no systematic attempt to consider linguistic bias as a component of human language use that affects their data, methods, and the use to which formal analyses may be put - I.e. fails to include language bias as a human (social) fact within the discipline of studying human language. 9) Does not recognize the role of social factors in influencing the analyst's reasoning, e.g. specifically the social character of standard vs. non-standard languages, or power relations inherent between researcher and speaker that surface in language use. 10) Is itself biased as a field of study by the failure to promote non-standard languages as objects of study, and also to promote non-standard speakers as formal linguists within the profession. 11) In general, lacks a social critique of itself as a profession - of the relation of formal linguistic analysis to language speakers - and of the role of formal linguists vis-
  15. Prof. George P. Lakoff is professor of cognitive linguistics at Berkeley. Unfortunately, you would need to have read the book and have some basic understanding of how language is used cognitively to understand my comments, perhaps then you wouldn't have presupposed I needed to work in a title. Speaking about joking, I saw this really funny clip on Youtube, you might want to have a look
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use