Abstract: To non-specialists, academic disciplines invariably seem homogeneous, even monolithic. But even a relatively young discipline such as modem linguistics is more diverse in its procedures and concerns than might appear to those working in other fields. In this paper I attempt to show how certain kinds of linguistic inquiry might be relevant to those whose primary concern is rhetoric. I argue that these practices are often opposed to what I call the dominant paradigm in modern linguistics, with its commitment to abstraction and idealization. I discuss first those strands of linguistics, such as discourse analysis, text-linguistics, and stylistics, which tend to take the social formation for granted; I end by considering recent trends in so-called critical language study. Finally, I offer some thoughts on how linguistics may proceed in order to achieve a more programmatic rapprochement with rhetoric.
- Copyright 1994, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric