7. One Man's Norm is Another's Metaphor
Geoffrey Sampson [+]
Sussex University, Professor Emeritus
Another way in which some linguists have tried to shore up the concept of linguistics-as-science has involved shifting attention away from grammar towards word-meaning. Early generative analyses of the latter, e.g. by Katz and Fodor in 1963, were quite naive, but recently a linguist, Patrick Hanks, who (unlike most academic linguists) has deep experience as a practising lexicographer, and who is also well aware of the objection that language usage is too creative for scientific theorizing, has argued at length (in Lexical Analysis, MIT Press, 2013) for a reconciliation between these contrasting pictures of word-usage. It was a good try but again it just does not work. There is no getting round the creativity of real-life usage.