On the written language bias of linguistics

At Babel’s Dawn, there is an interesting post about dialogism, and how the focus on writing biases linguistic studies, which begins thus:

Last week I drafted a post that said, “Written language is commonly produced by people sitting alone quietly in rooms of their own, so, if we focus on the act of writing, the idea of language as a series of sentences being generated by a solitary figure will not sound too impossibly strange. But as soon as one thinks of speech, that idea of language begins to sound crazy, for speech is an interactive process and any analysis of how sentences work is going to have to take that interaction into account.”

Then I decided to postpone those remarks for a few days because I learned that this argument has been well made by a a Swedish sociolinguist, Per Linell.

Take a look!


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