Linguistik online 28, 3/06

Zur linguistischen Sinnsuche in- und ausserhalb von schriftsprachlichen Korpora

Eine Replik auf Wolfgang Teuberts Beitrag

Raphael Berthele (Bern)



In this reply to Wolfgang Teubert's contribution, some of the central tenets of his position are questioned. The primacy of literacy for linguistic investigations as advocated by Teubert is challenged, since the most important function of language is oral communication, and most of the world's languages exist exclusively in oral use. Counter-evidence to Teubert's claim according to which oral languages do not develop metalinguistic awareness (as e.g. the concept of "word") is given. The author scrutinizes the value added by Teubert's programmatic suggestion of "hermeneutic corpus linguistics" to the linguistic disciplines, since the sole focus on "discourse objects" unnecessarily narrows down the scope of linguistic investigation. Moreover, it seems to lead to backgrounding and neglect of what linguistics is all about: the comprehensive study of the structures, meaning potentials and usage patterns of the languages and varieties of the world, and the study of their usage-based emergence and evolution.


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