Blog Archives

“All swans are underlyingly white”

An allegory that I started writing for something else, but which upon reflection should probably stand on its own. Once upon a time, in a world closely alike our own, a biologist postulates a generalization: “All swans are white”. The

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Posted in Methodology

Analogy Is Not Phonology

While my blogging here has been firmly within historical linguistics, every once in a while I do go poking around self-styled formal linguistics blogs too. [1] This tends to be a frustrating exercise though. By now, supposedly deep problems discussed

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Posted in Methodology, Commentary

On the epistemology of sound change, part 1

Continuing from the last post, and toning the meta-ness of the discussion down just a little… What does it, at the level of everyday research, mean for me to request “justification on the basis of more elementary phenomena” for the

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Posted in Methodology

The rooting of historical linguistics

Most of the harder problems in the methodology of historical linguistics seem to come from it being a fairly “high-order” discipline, and a relatively isolated one at that. To an extent, this true of all humanities. With the levels of

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Posted in Methodology

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