5. Method and imagination in Halliday’s science of linguistics
David Butt [+]
Linguists, like other varieties of scientists, have varied in the degree to which they invest space and rhetorical energy in telling other linguists what is and is not linguistics and what is and is not science. Halliday appears to have done little of such telling; certainly by comparison with other influential figures of his era. This lower visibility as a gatekeeper to a science of linguistics has led to a number of seriously mistaken assumptions amongst linguists themselves and amongst those in the wider academic community who, at various removes from linguistic investigations, have had to rely on generalised reports of the goals, methods and findings of linguistic research. The first mistake has been to assume that Halliday has not been as scientific as other linguists who have protested their conceptions of science ostentatiously (viz. Bloomfield, 1933: Chapter 9; Chomsky, 1972: 112–14 and 115ff).