History of linguistics as a path to dissertation progress and contextualization of research


  • Stanley Dubinsky University of South Carolina




history of linguistics, doctoral student training, syntactic theory


In our doctoral program (one which largely trains students in sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and L2 acquisition, rather than phonological, syntactic, and semantic theory), history of linguistics leads students to a deeper understanding of linguistics than is possible without it. Through this course, our students gain, in one semester rather than several, a broad perspective on the evolution of linguistic theories and methodologies. The course also serves as an opportunity for students to delve into the history of their own subfield and for them to frame the literature review portion of their own dissertation. The outcome of having this course is that our graduates have a broader perspective on general linguistics than they would have if they remained entirely focused on their own specialization, and that they come to understand where their own doctoral research program fits in the wider discipline of linguistics.

Note: A video of the session in which this was presented and the associated slide deck are available in the foreword to this issue




How to Cite

Dubinsky, Stanley. 2024. “History of Linguistics As a Path to Dissertation Progress and Contextualization of Research”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 9 (2): 5741. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v9i2.5741.