Theory and practice in Romance linguistics today

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Since its inception in 1971, the LSRL (Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages) has gained in prestige to become the foremost conference in Romance linguistics today. The papers given at this meeting distinguish themselves with as much originality as shown in any linguistics conference at present. This paper claims that such a state of affairs can be compared to the classical period of Romance linguistics in the second half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Just as the latter constituted a very successful application of the dominant theoretical apparatus of the time, comparative historical linguistics based on Neogrammarian principles, today’s scholars are achieving great success by making use of current advances in linguistics. The positing of an “organic continuum” of the discipline derives from one of the three definitions of Romance linguistics offered by Malkiel (1961), but its essence was already captured in Schuchardt (1915).


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