The Linguistics Delusion - Geoffrey Sampson

The Linguistics Delusion - Geoffrey Sampson


The Linguistics Delusion - Geoffrey Sampson

Geoffrey Sampson [+-]
Sussex University, Professor Emeritus
Geoffrey Sampson is Professor Emeritus at Sussex University and has taught linguistics at the LSE, Lancaster and Leeds Universities. His recent books include Love Songs of Early China (2006), Electronic Business (2nd edn 2008) and Writing Systems (2nd edn 2015).


Linguistics is a subject which came to the fore only in the 1960s. It is founded on a fallacy. Linguistics claims to be ‘the scientific study of language’, but language behaviour is too open-ended and creative to be treated by the methods of science. In consequence, linguistic theories systematically distort the nature of language, and present a misleading picture of our human nature. Geoffrey Sampson shows how various traditions of linguistics, and their accounts of different aspects of language, are all infected by the delusion of scientism. And he offers positive examples of how language can be studied insightfully, once the scientistic delusion is given up.

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Sampson, Geoffrey. Acknowledgements. The Linguistics Delusion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. xi Sep 2017. ISBN 9781781795781. Date accessed: 16 Jul 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34811. Sep 2017

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