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Arika Okrent

Linguist, Author, Mental Floss

Arika Okrent is a linguist and author with a joint PhD in linguistics and cognition and cognitive neuroscience from the University of Chicago. She is the author of In the Land of Invented Languages (2009) and Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme – and Other Oddities of the English Language (2021). She lives in Chicago and covers language for Mental Floss.

Written by Arika Okrent



Recent Comments

Is linguistics a science?

Arika Okrent

I should say, there is no claim or argument here that Popperian falsifiability is the one and only true criterion for science. Only that it is a central feature of the scientific method archetype, one that guides the direction in which these feuds develop. Evaluating Chomsky’s project in terms of that archetype goes a long way toward explaining what he’s up to, without requiring that it be the instrument of some edifice-crumbling narrative archetype that decides once-and-for-all “nope, not science.”

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