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Linguistics and Languages Top Level Category

Build the Open Shelves Classification

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Jun 22, 2009, 6:38pm Top

As a past researcher of linguistics, I'd like to suggest that these two be split, a new top level category should be added to account for classical linguistics; the type of books published pre-Chomskian revolution.

Current works in linguistics generally aim to tease out how the mind produces language, and as such linguistics should be a sub-section of psychology and not an independent top level category.

Prescriptive accounts should not be part of this sub-section and should be placed in the classical linguistics top level category.


Jun 22, 2009, 7:03pm Top

Generally speaking, the m.o. of the OSC project has been to shelve books in categories where a lay reader would be most likely to look for them. As a result, I think we've relatively frequently eschewed keeping on the cutting edge of academia, in favor of making typical library patrons' lives easier.

The taxonomy you suggest might be appropriate for a university collection, or a dedicated cognitive science library, but (as a lot of people have noted) academic libraries are very unlikely to switch to OSC.

You're certainly right that as to certain works that exist at the boundary of psychology and linguistics, the existing OSC model forces the cataloger to make an artificial choice between those two top-levels. But I think that choice is inescapable if we want laypeople to be able to use the OSC effectively.


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