This dialogue between Spanish professor Ignacio Bosque and Italian professor Raffaele Simone reflects on the interests, concerns and, indeed, the mission of the linguist in today’s university setting, aiming at an informed but non-specialist public.
The main topics addressed in their conversation are:
1. The image of linguists as the language “police.”
2. The controversy over linguistic sexism, still raging in Spain, but now outmoded and largely abandoned in Italy.
3. Fields of specialization within the linguistics world.
4. The extent to which the renovation of linguistic data made possible by new technologies conditions, improves or impoverishes linguists’ theories.
5. Whether language is primarily embedded in the mind or in society.