This Register of Linguistics Theses (excluding applied linguistics theses) completed at New Zealand universities (1990-) is maintained by Paul Warren, Victoria University of Wellington. Comments to:
A 9 page research paper that examines various linguistic theories that explain why sound changes take place in language and what social mechanisms serve to perpetuate such changes. Theories discussed include those of William Labov. Bibliography lists 3 sources.
The Vision: A Senior Linguistics Thesis
Behaviorism is defended by Carnap. (However, he focuses on the linguistic thesis rather than on the metaphysical thesis.) It is criticized by Putnam in "Brains and Behavior." (Putnam's essay "The Nature of Mental States," and Block's essay "Troubles with Functionalism," also criticize behaviorism in passing.)
Description: The Linguistic Thesis allows a candidate to undertake a research project using the analytic tools acquired in the core areas of Linguistics. The thesis need not be on original data collected by the students themselves, but should contain points of theoretical interest/reflection. The chosen topic may overlap with any subject on which the candidate offers a paper, but candidates should avoid repetition of material. The analysis of the data may focus on an aspect or combination of aspects of linguistic structure or usage. For help in choosing a topic, formulating a research question, and collecting and analysing data, see the document, available in the Linguistics area of Weblearn.In class, I distinguished between a linguistic thesis, a methodological thesis, and a metaphysical thesis. The most basic of these is the metaphysical thesis. This says that to be in a mental state of a certain type (e.g. pain) to behave in certain ways (e.g. wincing, moaning, etc.), or, in more sophisticated versions, to have a to behave in certain ways.