The Eye: an article on linguistics at Columbia

Columbia magazine The Eye has an article on the undergraduate linguistics program.

From the article:

““I have a general theory that some languages are much less complex than others,” John McWhorter explains, “which goes against a kind of gospel that was created at this university that states that all languages are equally complex. That notion comes from work done here by Franz Boas, the anthropologist, in the late nineteenth century.” McWhorter, a linguist and recent addition to the faculty of Columbia University, is naming but one of the many distinguished linguistic Professors who were involved with in the once-illustrious department of linguistics at Columbia. Yet Columbia has been without any formal linguistics department since 1989, and in addition to overturning some of the work done by Franz Boas, McWhorter hopes to lend his assistance in reconstructing a linguistics department at Columbia.”


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