Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction

Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction

Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction

Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction

Synopsis

An authoritative general introduction to cognitive linguistics, this book provides up-to-date coverage of all areas of the field and sets in context recent developments within cognitive semantics (including primary metaphors, conceptual blending and Principled Polysemy), and cognitive approaches to grammar (including Radical Construction Grammar and Embodied Construction Grammar). While all topics are introduced in terms accessible to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, this work is sufficiently comprehensive and detailed to serve as a reference work for scholars from linguistics and neighbouring disciplines who wish to gain a better understanding of cognitive linguistics. The book is divided into three parts (The cognitive linguistics enterprise; Cognitive semantics; and Cognitive approaches to grammar), and is therefore suitable for a range of different course types, both in terms of length and level, as well as in terms of focus. In addition to defining the field, the text also includes appropriate critical evaluation. Complementary and potentially competing approaches are explored both within the cognitive approach and beyond it. In particular, cognitive linguistics is compared and contrasted with formal approaches including Generative Grammar, formal approaches to semantics, and Relevance Theory. Features:
• Exercises at the end of each chapter
• Annotated reading list at the end of each chapter
• Lively and accessible presentation
• Full bibliography
• Contains 200 diagrammatic illustrations

Excerpt

Cognitive linguistics is a modern school of linguistic thought that originally emerged in the early 1970s out of dissatisfaction with formal approaches to lanCognitive linguistics is also firmly rooted in the emergence of modern cognitive science in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in work relating to human categorisation, and in earlier traditions such as Gestalt psychology. Early research was dominated in the 1970s and 1980s by a relatively small number of scholars. By the early 1990s, there was a growing proliferation of research in this area, and of researchers who identified themselves as 'cognitive linguists'. In 1989/90, the International Cognitive Linguistics Society was established, together with the journal Cognitive Linguistics. In the words of the eminent cognitive linguist Ronald Langacker ([1991] 2002: xv), this 'marked the birth of cognitive linguistics as a broadly grounded, self conscious intellectual movement'.

Cognitive linguistics is described as a 'movement' or an 'enterprise' because it is not a specific theory. Instead, it is an approach that has adopted a common set of guiding principles, assumptions and perspectives which have led to a diverse range of complementary, overlapping (and sometimes competing) theories. For this reason, Part I of this book is concerned with providing a 'character sketch' of the most fundamental assumptions and commitments that characterise the enterprise as we see it.

In order to accomplish this, we map out the cognitive linguistics enterprise from a number of perspectives, beginning with the most general perspective and gradually focusing in on more specific issues and areas. The aim of Part I is to provide a number of distinct but complementary angles from which the nature and character of cognitive linguistics can be understood. We also draw comparisons with Generative Grammar along the way, in order to set the . . .

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