Re: Functional Grammar

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Mon Mar 30 1998 - 06:05:00 EST

Rod Decker wrote:

> <6> Sampson, writing as a descriptivist, judges that systemic linguistics
> is far more successful as a system than generative grammar and has a good
> deal to offer (particularly in phonology and syntax, but not in semantics).
> He is not optimistic, however, that it will prevail over the domination of
> Chomsky's system. In his own memorable words, this is because "the
> discipline of linguistics seems to be peopled largely by intellectual
> Brahmanists, who evaluate ideas in terms of ancestry rather than intrinsic
> worth; and, nowadays, the proper caste to belong to is American" (Schools
> of Linguistics, 235). He continues, somewhat sarcastically, that "the most
> half-baked idea from MIT [which is where Chomsky teaches] is taken
> seriously, even if it has been anticipated by far more solid work done in
> the 'wrong' places; the latter is not rejected, just ignored.... Against
> such powerful magic, mere common sense...and meticulous scholarship (in
> which it compares favorably, to say the least, with the movement that has
> eclipsed it) are considerations that seem to count for disappointingly
> little."

Thank's Rod,

This is as wonderful quote. Full of insight into how academia functions. If
the topic were not out of scope for b-greek it would be intriguing to pursue
this question of Brahmanism and see how it applies to biblical studies and NT
Greek. But, certainly this would call down the wrath of Apollo, who strikes
from afar.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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