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Cognitive linguistics

Cognitive linguistics is a branch of linguistics and/or cognitive science, which aims to provide accounts of language that mesh well with current understandings of the human mind. The guiding principle behind this area of linguistics is that language use must be explained with reference to the underlying mental processes.

Important cognitive linguists include George Lakoff, Len Talmy[?], Ronald Langacker[?], Mark Johnson[?], Mark Turner[?], Gilles Fauconnier[?], Charles Fillmore[?], and Adele Goldberg.

Aspects of cognitive linguistics include:

Two important areas of cognitive linguistics are conceptual metaphor theory, heavily influenced by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson[?], and conceptual blending theory, heavily influenced by Gilles Fauconnier[?] and Mark Turner[?]. There is some overlap between the two, and the terminology is somewhat overlapping and not entirely stable. A helpful reference in sorting out the two subdisciplines is the 1999 paper by Grady, Oakley, and Coulson listed in "further reading".

Further reading

  • Gilles Fauconnier[?] has written a brief, manifesto-like introduction to Cognitive linguistics, which compares it to mainstream, Chomsky-inspired linguistics. See Introduction to Methods and Generalizations. In T. Janssen and G. Redeker (Eds). Scope and Foundations of Cognitive Linguistics. The Hague: Mouton De Gruyter. Cognitive Linguistics Research Series. (on-line version (http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Fauconnier_99))
  • Grady, Oakley, and Coulson (1999). "Blending and Metaphor". In Metaphor in cognitive linguistics, Steen and Gibbs (eds.). Philadelphia: John Benjamins. (online version (http://cogweb.ucla.edu/CogSci/Grady_99))



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