Favourite Theoretical Field?
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Most of the people in my classes are leaning towards syntax and semantics, so I feel very alienated when I declare I like phonology the best.
>2 Petroglyph:: Although I didn't take classes in historical linguistics, my readings on the subject fascinate me. I think phonology also figures highly in detecting historical language change, a la Grimm's law and--of course!--the great vowel shift.
Without Grammar and Samantics, though, no communication would be possible. You need a universally recognized structure for concepts to be meaningful, to be communicable. Beyond that purely practical consideration, the structure of a language, considered in an of itself, is an elegant thing, pretty wondrous, in fact.
>7 erilarlo:: I take the exact opposite approach: diachronic studies are there to provide interesting data and test cases for theory. :)
I get the feeling that the interests of the generation currently pursuing degrees lie far more in the applied/descriptive fields of linguistics than the strictly theoretical/formal. I know this can't be true everywhere, and even if it were, some in the profession have been lamenting the decline of the formal in formal linguistics for decades now and it still hasn't disappeared. Any one else have opinions or observations on that?