Grammar and Conceptualization

Grammar and Conceptualization

Grammar and Conceptualization

Grammar and Conceptualization

Synopsis

Grammar and Conceptualization documents some major developments in the theory of cognitive grammar during the last decade. By further articulating the framework and showing its application to numerous domains of linguistic structure, this book substantiates the claim that lexicon, morphology, and syntax form a gradation consisting of assemblies of symbolic structures (form-meaning pairings).

Excerpt

In the preface to Concept, Image, and Symbol, the predecessor of this book, I recounted the recent founding of cognitive linguistics as a self-conscious intellectual movement with an institutional basis. A decade later, cognitive linguistics is thriving. Its institutions are sounder, its adherents are steadily increasing in numbers worldwide, and its influence is more and more being felt in other disciplines. The volume of publications in cognitive linguistics has reached the point that keeping up with them all—even the ones I am aware of—is no longer a realistic objective.

During this period, the theory of cognitive grammar has greatly progressed as well. My own efforts have resulted in about forty substantial articles, either published or in press. An enormous body of material is therefore potentially available representing the articulation, refinement, and evolution of cognitive grammar since the last comprehensive statement of the framework appeared. However, this material is scattered around in a wide range of venues, so that not even assiduous readers in general and cognitive linguistics can be expected to have come across more than a fraction of it. The aim of this volume is thus to provide an accessible collection of representative and significant writings showing the continued development of the theory and further illustrating its application to diverse problems.

Just twelve papers have been selected for this purpose. Included are basic theoretical statements, analyses and descriptions of particular phenomena, as well as a preview of future research. All have been adapted to make this a cohesive work; the revisions range from slight adjustments to almost a complete rewriting. Besides formatting, the most significant changes have been the pruning of excessively redundant material and certain attempts at coherence and continuity. The result is naturally a compromise. In large measure, I believe that each individual chapter (and also the full volume) can be read and understood as a self-contained entity. At the same time, it is meant to be readable as an integral whole and is best appreciated in the context of previous publications. To facilitate cross-reference, I have thus adopted certain abbreviations: CIS for Concept, Image, and Symbol, as well as FCG1 and FCG2 for the two volumes of Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. I have also succumbed to the acronymistic proclivities of theoretical linguists in adopting CG for cognitive grammar.

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