Being Ecumenical: Dell Hymes

November 24th, 2009 § 0 comments

I read Dell Hymes’ Obit today.

What strikes me about his approach to Linguistics was that it was all about context. Language took place in a cultural context, not in a mathematical wonderland, as Chomsky would have you believe.

Not to harsh on Noam, or anything.

But the word ecumenical came up in the obit…meaning general in extent or application.

Merriam-Webster tells us it comes from the Greek oikoumenē ,meaning the inhabited world.

The first step to solving a problem is to look at where it happens. To go where the problem is. Have Empathy, as @whitneyhess said here. And using an ecumenical approach, use whatever tools you need.

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