Linguistics: what and how?.

2015. №3, 7-21

Vladimir M. Alpatov
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 125009, Russia;


The development of linguistics has some peculiarities. Two main processes in the history of linguistics are accumulation of facts and forming the new methods; accumulation of facts increases chaos, new methods overcome it. Different tasks were primary in different periods, some problems became peripheral but then were able to get priority again at a higher level. There are two tendencies in the history of linguistics; one of them aspires for studying language objectively and exactly on the pattern of natural sciences, the other tendency is connected with the study of language together with the speaking person, taking into account intuition and introspection. The first tendency was predominant in the epoch of structural linguistics, the second tendency is becoming widespread now.