Linguistics: Bridging the Humanities and the Sciences

By Germán F. Westphal.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Human language permeates every aspect of human life and thus, its study is central to the humanities. As linguistics has developed over the last fifty years or so, it has solidly established itself as an empirical science, and therefore is in a unique position to bridge the humanities and the sciences in the college curriculum. In this paper, I will present evidence that shows how linguistics can prove useful for the teaching of the “logic of scientific discovery” so that students in the humanities can gain insights on how science actually operates, and students in the sciences can gain an appreciation for the study of language - a central topic of intellectual concern from different perspectives and in different disciplines in the humanities. To accomplish the goal of this paper, I will briefly introduce the main tenets of the Popperian approach to scientific discovery, and next I will discuss a specific linguistic problem in Spanish, and show how apparent counter examples may in fact lead to indirect confirmation of scientific hypotheses - a mainstream approach in the physical sciences.

Keywords: Linguistics, Humanities, Science, Logic of Scientific Discovery

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.133-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.169MB).

Prof. Germán F. Westphal

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Ph.D. in Linguistics, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. Research Interests: Syntax. Creative Writing: Poetry and Short Stories. Languages: Spanish and English. Other Interests: Human Rights issues. Born in Chile in 1942.

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