IS THE SCIENCE OF LANGUAGE POSSIBLE?
Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Buca Eğitim Fakültesi Türkçe Eğitimi Anabilim Dalı
Keywords: Linguistics, grammar, science, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend.
Language is one ofthe cognitive capacitiesthat distinguishes humans from other living things. How to examine this capacity in science has always been a matter of debate. According to some researchers, including G. Sampson, linguistics is not a branch of science since it cannot be studied with scientific methods. Another group of scientists led by N. Chomsky argues that language should be studied with the methods of natural sciences. In this article, firstly, discussions about the phenomenon of science are evaluated. The views of thinkers such as Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend on scientific methods are associated with some debates in language studies. Leaving language out of science will not contribute to the solution of language-related questions. Some methods used in language studies are open to criticism. However, this is not enough to label linguistics as unscientific. Science progresses by criticizing everything, including methods. Progress can be made by reorganizing the criticized methods. The conclusion reached in the article is as follows: Language is a multifaceted phenomenon that can be studied with the methods of natural sciences, formal sciences and social sciences. Ideally, when the language studies of these three different fields are carried out with the right methods, we will learn a lot about language.