Dawnstorm: "a linguist's intuition about language can be considered data."
I want to talk a bit about intuition versus data.
Data in linguistic is smth else than data in science: intuitive/synthetic data (does not represent a fact in the real world) versus real-world data (measurable facts). Or: scientific data are measurable facts. Linguistic data is more complicated to define because of the diverse levels of abstractness - it is what we think we know about language.
An intuition cannot be considered data in Science (Math, Physiscs...). In Philosophy and Linguistic, intuition is a form of knowledge independent of experience or reason.This is why, intuitive data is not given too much attention by scientists, where reason is the basis of all research.
Both kinds of data are important to combine for best result in a research project- even in linguistic, biological issues help explain the evolution of language. Sometimes, scientific data (measurable facts) may be an impediment to making the "obvious" (ie, intuitive) inferences about a certain condition, like for instance in medicine: measuring the health-related quality of life. There, attempts are made more and more at reconciling the scientific and intuitive perspectives of assessment to ensure that the research is taken seriously. I once had to do a project on Socio-Geography, where I compiled both statistics and intuitive data (through questionnaire and so on) for a more reliable outcome.
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