does honour in specialisation even exist anymore?

my thesis is progressing. finally. i see it. it ain’t pretty. it ain’t even half way there. it is all still in bits and pieces. but baby, i’m seeing it. finally. after, what… three years?

that’s three years of heartaches, let me assure you. three years of having my project proposals thrown about. three years of wondering if all this is worth while. actually, i do still wonder that sometimes. most of the time. okay, all the time.

(god knows the only thing holding me back from picking up my backpack and travelling the world is this research. travel now pun domestic jer.)

you see, we adhere to a systematic academic methodology which, at the end of the day, decides if one is deemed worthy to receive, in my case, a postgraduate degree. wait, we don’t adhere to it. it is shoved down our throats. why such a system, well, because that is how it has always been done and it is not that people don’t have the balls to challenge the system, its just that there are too few of them.

you se a standard thesis or project paper has basically five sections: introduction, literature review, methodology, findings and discussions, and conclusions and recommendations. you got to have this in all your research. if you even miss out on one section, the heavens will spike you, or you simply won’t get you degree. god is kind. usually, you just fail.

i have an introduction. i have a framework so i suppose that is methodology. my methodology works and i am already rolling in my data findings and already se several areas for discussion and recommendations. bits and pieces, mind you, bits and pieces, but its there. somewhere.

so here’s the deal. i don’t have anything and i do mean NOTHING AT ALL in my literature review section. consistent readers to this blog would know that i am studying a new area of research now dealing with a very specialised area of language.

consistent readers of this blog would also know that my area of specialisation is applied linguistics. not ESP (english for specific purposes).

now, because i am an applied linguist, i approach the case from an applied linguistics point of veiw which is perfectly fine. it does not mean, however, the ares of language study ceases to be ESP, which should comprise most of the literature review.

aku applied linguist, bukan ESP specialist!!!

and you thought all linguists are created equal.

i can be a sociolinguist, a psycholinguist, an anthropological linguist, a historical linguist, heck, even a forensic linguist. all these fall within the general jurisdiction of applied linguistis.

but there are a lot that i cannot be.

i am not a lexicologist for one, so people out there, just because i am a linguist, does not mean i am a walking dictionary!

i am not a phonetics nor a phonological expert like professor higgins from pygmalion, and i do happen to have a phonic disability called ‘rhotics.’

god knows that i am not a teaching expert or an evaluation expert.

nor i am an advertising expert. or a specialist in SLA (second language acquisition). or in syntax. or in semantics. or in morphology.

or in ESP.

of course, i do know something about those areas. linguistics is, afer all, an overlapping area of study which is simultaneously confined and liberated. but because of the depth of such fields which is almost unimaginable by non-linguists, most of us specialise. i’d like to think of myself as an anthopological sociolinguist, keen on subjects pertaining to culture and society and of course, linguistic influences in both these areas.

i have either digressed tragically from what i set out to say or made my point crystal clear.

i have a working project with no literature to back me up. the framework is nicely churning our data but is based on no lit review. i don’t have the slightest clue of where iamgoing to get my reviews from or what its going to be about.

i am a victim. of the system. i have made a new discovery. i have derived a brand new theory. but the system don’t want to see it. unless that see the review.

my professor told me, that after i get my degree, i can go out there and be the most controversial linguist in the world. but in order to get thre, i got to get my masters. and as long as i don’t have it yet, i got to bow to the system and do as it demands.

just wait till i graduate!


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