linguistics in a flow chart (ish)

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(click for higher resolution)

Well, I feel sorry for the oft-neglected morphologists, neglected again. As the bridge between phonology and syntax, their work tends either to be tacked onto the former or the latter, for some reason, denied sovereignty.

Beyond that, this is quite clever, though of course necessarily schematic. I don’t really fit, since my answer to the very first question channels me into only one option – which is not where I’d want to go. But when I choose the answer “several,” instead of “as many as possible,” it does in fact bring up the half of the diagram I’m most interested in, especially syntax, semantics (although the non-math kinds like lexical and cognitive), and pragmatics. (Hmm, but both first and second language acquisition are completely fascinating also – I suppose it’s only the upper right quadrant that holds less of an interest for me.)

Obviously the main purpose was to give some general sense of the range of linguistic enterprise while having some fun at the same time (can’t syntacticians function with young children?!).

It’s interesting how little the general public still knows about what linguists do. The most common view of course is that “linguists” simply learn many languages, ie that they are polyglots, rather than that they study language as such. So this chart may be helpful in giving a sense of the range of areas involved in the study of language, even if a little (tongue-in-) cheekily.

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