I had mentioned previously that the reading group intended to take a break for a month, while two of our members tour the US. At yesterday’s meeting, though, we decided that a month was simply too long to go without a substantive (or, depending on your point of view, insubstantial) discussion of linguistics. We’ve therefore decided that, for the next several weeks, we’ll move the reading group online. We’re still working out the exact details, but the general concept, I think, is that we’ll open periodic threads for discussion of specific works on this site, reading group members (and anyone else who wants to dive in) will contribute and discuss, and general enlightenment will ensue…
The works proposed for the virtualised reading group include some lighter and some heavier material – if only to allow our travelling members some opportunity for light entertainment while they’re away. The specific works proposed, in the order we’re currently intending to discuss them, are:
Austin How to Do Things with Words
Pinker <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Language-Instinct-Creates-Perennial-Classics/dp/0060958332/sr=1-1/qid=1161811475/ref=sr_1_1/002-5294189-5521642?ie=UTF8&s=books" target="_blank"The Language Instinct
And then as much as you care follow of the debate between Pinker, Jackendoff and Chomsky, outlined in this Language Log summary of the state of play. (Note: for brevity’s sake, I’ve posted only the Language Log link here, rather than the more detailed set of recommendations that were circulated via email within the reading group – reading group members will know the more specific recommendations; anyone following from a distance can make their own selections, which I’m sure will be no worse than ours…)
I’ll try to post a few observations on our previous reading selection, Language and Mind, in a separate post, some time during the next couple of days.