Was Darwin a framework-free biologist? A reply to Peter Ludlow

Philosophical issues keep coming up in linguistics, and although I have no particular training in this field, I have sometimes felt that I should make general comments about the nature of linguistic theorizing (e.g. in my 2010 paper on “framework-free grammatical theory”). Now I feel honored that the prominent philosopher Peter Ludlow has devoted a lengthy blogpost to the issue of how p-linguistics relates to g-linguistics and why framework-free science is not possible, in which he reacts to my earlier blogpost about p-linguistics and g-linguistics, where I had discussed his 2019 paper about the philosophy of generative linguistics. Here I continue this conversation. Continue reading

Types of pronouns: Beyond the stereotype

Everyone knows what a stereotypical pronoun is: they, she, he; and all linguists know that there are also interrogative pronouns (who, what), relative pronouns (who, which), and demonstrative pronouns (this, these). Or should we say “demonstrative adjectives”, because they are typically used in adnominal function (this room, these chairs)? And is a pronoun a type of noun, i.e. a “pro-noun” in the literal sense (standing for a noun)? If so, are there “pro-adjectives” and “pro-adverbs” as well? Continue reading