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The article attempts to present one of the trends in linguistics which blurs the distinction between the central and the peripheral. The author proposes that the margins and peripheries are potentially more fertile and conducive to the development of their respective fields. This is due to the fact the progress in linguistics is not linear but based on qualitative turns and breakthroughs during which certain trends prevail whereas other are confined to the margins of the discipline. The new dominant trends owe their success not to their superiority but to their effectiveness at a given moment and conformity with the needs of their times. The dominant trends are relatively stable (synchronically) but the new and seminal is provided by peripheral niches which create innovation. Such ‘outsiders’ are responsible for epiphanies, brilliant ideas and creative solutions which break the mould of established trends. ‘Subversive linguistics’ is a label that can be attached to certain conscious procedures in linguistics which, whilst not uniformly critical of the dominant trends, try nevertheless to create a field of innovation and scope for creative change. The ‘subversive’ part of the label refers to the attempts to undermine the established notions of traditional linguistic from the inside and alter them creatively.
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