Who speaks for us? Lessons from the Pinker letter
Itamar Kastner, Hadas Kotek, Anonymous Anonymous, Rikker Dockum, Michael Dow, Maria Esipova, Caitlin Green, Todd Snider
August 2020

In the short time since the Open Letter to the LSA regarding Steven Pinker was published in early July 2020, it has evoked many different reactions across the field of linguistics. This commentary examines how the letter has been received in the field and outside of it, in news outlets as well as on social media. The findings are troubling. Our comprehensive review of reactions to the letter shows that not only are Pinker and his supporters spreading demonstrably false claims about the letter, its signatories, and the LSA itself, but that these claims are being repeated uncritically by a great many media outlets. We discuss possible reasons for this state of affairs and provide suggestions for how the field should deal with media attention in the future.
This manuscript is accompanied by a FAQ at https://who-speaks-faq.carrd.co.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005381
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: linguistics in the media, semantics, pragmatics
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