ERIC Number: ED182987
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
La Distance Interlinguistique (Interlinguistic Distance).
Mackey, William Francis
Standard measures and techniques are needed to establish resemblances and differences among languages. A determination of the degree to which one lanquage or dialect differs from another requires the examination of language universals. To study what languages have in common, attention has to be given to the physical, psychological, and social characteristics common to human beings and the characteristics common to all languages. Universal human characteristics furnish the parameters and the language universals indicate the kinds of measures that are needed. Universal distinctions such as mind and body, or code and speech, lead to a consideration of the measurement of distance among languages from a number of points of view: (1) language and discourse; (2) static and dynamic distance; (3) distance as difference and as conversion; (4) taxonomic and integral distance; (5) semantic and formal distance; (6) direct and indirect distance; and (7) diversity, intensity, and productivity. The utility of each scale and approach to the problem depends on the end in view. The research suggests that a number of problems in pedagogy as well as in linguistics and psychology might be illuminated by the establishment of standard scales of measurement. (AMH)
Descriptors: Anthropology, Contrastive Linguistics, Descriptive Linguistics, Diachronic Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Language Classification, Language Instruction, Language Patterns, Language Research, Language Typology, Language Universals, Language Variation, Linguistic Borrowing, Sociolinguistics, Speech, Written Language
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Laval Univ., Quebec (Quebec). International Center for Research on Bilingualism.