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Conversazione con André Martinet What role do you think linguistics has today and what do you think its role will be in the future? There was a period in which it was necessary to describe a number of languages which had been so far been spoken, but never written and which were unknown. That was […]

Conversazione con André Martinet What is your position in respect to Leonard Bloomfield? Bloomfield has a number of things which are commendable and which Europeans should know, because his work is not very wide, it is not very broad minded, but it is pretty good, in the sense that he sticks to realities and there […]

Conversazione con André Martinet Do you think your move to the United States helped you in some way to develop your theory and your personality as a linguist? Not much, you see, because I went there for something very different. I was more or less connected with the International Auxiliary Languages Association. For some reason […]

Conversazione con André Martinet What brought you in contact with Saussure? My contacts with Saussure… they were relatively late. I told you about the fact that I invented phonology when I was a kid, but I had to wait until other people gave me the words for expressing what I knew. With Saussure it’s about […]

Conversazione con André Martinet What is your opinion about the formal approach to the analysis of language? Formal means the elimination of a number of things which are not to be relevant, but from what standpoint? They don’t tell us from what standpoint. I tell you that we have to choose the same point, which […]

Conversazione con André Martinet What is the basis of your approach to the study of Linguistics?* You know what the principle of relevancy is. It is essential, basic, fundamental. Science begins with the principle of relevancy. You have a tree in front of you and you want to describe it. Can you describe it? No, […]

Conversazione con André Martinet What is then your position in respect to Chomsky? You may have noticed that Chomsky does not exist for me. No Chomsky, just because I think he’s not scientific. Just, he decided that you cannot have a sentence in any language unless you have a verb and a subject, which is […]