Collocation as Instrumentation for Meaning: A Scientific Fact

Collocation as Instrumentation for Meaning: A Scientific Fact

Bill Louw (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-932-8.ch004

Abstract

Until fairly recently, linguistics has been classified as a ‘science’ by definition, averral, and ideology rather than because of the uniformity of its practices across its many schools of thought. It is seldom the case in any discipline that a particular phenomenon begins to question that discipline’s raison d’etre, withdraw the option and luxury of its often directionless and eclectic practices and proceed to force unwelcome and sweeping changes upon the discipline by beginning to dictate its method. This paper re-states its author’s earlier proofs as claims that collocation as instrumentation for meaning is a scientific fact. The burden of this proof has acquired renewed urgency of an interdisciplinary nature that makes this paper both timely and necessary. The claim for collocation as science is reinforced by a number of new discoveries: the fact that all devices are brought about by relexicalisation as a marked form rather than the purported markedness that is mentalist and hence, merely averred. Collocation, corpus, stylistics, instrumentation, delexicalisation, relexicalisation, science, empiricism, philosophy of language, chunking, context of situation, context of culture, worlds, intuition, subtext, symbolism, co-selection.
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Science, Collocation And The Question Of Method

Paradigm shifts in science invariably require for their successful occurrence either new discoveries or the irrational replacement of one paradigm with another as science begins to ‘prefer’ a new paradigm to an existing one (Bullock and Trombley, 2000: 755). But for the signal absence of the computer, the worlds of philosophy, linguistics and science might have been ready for momentous changes leading to linguistic instrumentation as early as 1921. However, the synergy created by the scholarship of Frege (1884), Wittgenstein (1922), Carnap, (1928), Russell (1946), Firth, (1957)Malinowski (1935) and Markoff (1913) has remained temporarily both analogue and end-stopped because of the absence of the computer at that time. The possibility of all factors necessary for a scientific revolution coming together has always fired the imagination of theorists. For example, Caspi (1998) speculates on the forms of deliberation that might have taken place between distinguished scholars in the rooms in Cambridge of C.P. Snow on the eve of the creation of the first computer. Snow’s fictional list of invitees included Alan Turing (1912-1954), who is generally acknowledged as the inventor of modern computing. British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown recently apologized to Turing’s family for the manner in which Alan had been treated on account of his gender orientation. Brown did not mention the extent to which Turin’s ‘thinking machine’ had been seen as a threat to security.

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