Linguistic Quotations

Man is a classifying animal: in one sense it may be said that the whole process of speaking is nothing but distributing phenomena, of which no two are alike in every respect, into different classes on the strength of perceived similarities and dissimilarities. In the name-giving process we witness the same ineradicable and very useful tendency to see likenesses and to express similarity in the phenomena through similarity in name.

– Otto Jesperson 

A standard international language should not only be simple, regular, and logical, but also rich and creative

–Edward Sapir –

Lexicalism is dead, deceased, demised, no more, passed on…. the underlying suspicion was wrong and the leading idea didn’t work out.

                                                                   – Alec Marantz –

A linguistic system is a series of differences of sound combined with a series of differences of ideas.

- Ferdinand De Saussure -

Linguistic diversity preserves the mental health of the planet, and every time a language dies, we lose a vision of the world. To be left with one or two languages would spell intellectual disaster.

- David Crystal -

When you lose a language, you lose a culture, intellectual wealth, a work of art. It’s like dropping a bomb on a museum, the Louvre.

- Ken Hale -

Morphology is an interesting field of inquiry in current linguistics probably because we still
do not know whether it exists.

- Istvan Kenesei -

Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.

- Benjamin Lee Whorf -

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world.

- Noam Chomsky -

A language is a dialect with an army and navy.

- Max Weinreich, 1945 (first published, original speaker unknown) -

Past, Present, and Future

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