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Developmental Linguistics

Bailey, Charles-James N.

For a decade or so, scattered groups of linguists, first in America and now even more so in Europe, have found that so far äs their own interests are concerned, there are insurmountable contradictions with the reigning view of the structuralists, transformationalists, etc., that the proper object of linguistic investigation is the idiolect. They have consequently looked in other directions for a more realistic approach. Among such scholars have been those whose goals require them to compare constructs, sounds, or meanings:sociolinguists,dialectologists,creolists,historical linguists, investigators of child language, foreign-language teachers, language-planners, therapists, and theoreticians of a sort to be discussed below. It is recreant to their goals to adopt models which were invented for idiolectal analysis, for these exclude comparative and temporal (developmental) analysis: Thus, the phoneme is defined äs a relational unit that is not comparable with a superficially similar unit in a different (relational) System, or idiolect.1 In what follows, minilect is used äs a theoretically neutral term for either the static idiolect or the comparative-developmental isolect (cf. BAILEY 1973).
Published in: Folia Linguistica, 10.1515/flin.1981.15.1-2.29, De Gruyter
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