Are linguists better subjects?

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):721-736 (2009)
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Abstract

Who are the best subjects for judgment tasks intended to test grammatical hypotheses? Michael Devitt ( [2006a] , [2006b] ) argues, on the basis of a hypothesis concerning the psychology of such judgments, that linguists themselves are. We present empirical evidence suggesting that the relevant divide is not between linguists and non-linguists, but between subjects with and without minimally sufficient task-specific knowledge. In particular, we show that subjects with at least some minimal exposure to or knowledge of such tasks tend to perform consistently with one another—greater knowledge of linguistics makes no further difference—while at the same time exhibiting markedly greater in-group consistency than those who have no previous exposure to or knowledge of such tasks and their goals

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Author's Profile

Steven Gross
Johns Hopkins University

References found in this work

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Ann S. Ferebee - 1965 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 35 (1):167.
Ignorance of Language.Michael Devitt - 2006 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Ignorance of Language.Michael Devitt - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (1):186-186.
Intuitions in Linguistics.Michael Devitt - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):481-513.

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