I’ve been mulling over how to respond to Mark Liberman’s recent jibe at semioticians. This jibe was provoked by my claim that linguistics should be thought of expansively, as a subfield of semiotics (as Saussure initially intended) and not in the more narrow modern sense.
In his post Liberman picks on Roland Barthes, and his “euphoric dream of being scientific.” I have to admit that the scientific pretentious of semioticians can be pretty funny. But, I want to ask, just “how scientific is Chomsky’s theory of linguistics?”
UPDATE: Edited post for greater clarity.
UPDATE: Mark Liberman explores Levi-Strauss’ obsession with linguistics here.