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Combining theory from cognitive semantics and pragmatics, this book offers both a new model and a new usage-based method for the understanding of intersubjectivity, and how social cognition is expressed linguistically at different levels of complexity. Bringing together ideas from linguistics and theory of mind, Tantucci demonstrates the way in which speakers constantly monitor and project their interlocutor's reactions to what is being said, and sets out three distinct categories of social cognition in first language acquisition and language change. He also shows how this model can be applied in different settings and includes a range of examples from languages across the globe, to demonstrate the cross-linguistic universality of the model. Additionally the book offers insights into the gradient dimension of intersubjectivity in language evolution and across the autistic spectrum. Original and innovative, it will be invaluable for researchers in cognitive linguistics, pragmatics, historical linguistics, applied linguistics and cognitive psychology.
I'm not a racist, but… You look good, for your age… She was asking for it… You're crazy… That's so gay… Have you ever wondered why certain language has the power to offend? It is often difficult to recognize the veiled racism, sexism, ageism (and other –isms) that hide in our everyday discourse. This book sheds light on the derogatory phrases, insults, slurs, stereotypes, tropes and more that make up linguistic discrimination. Each chapter addresses a different area of prejudice: race and ethnicity; gender identity; sexuality; religion; health and disability; physical appearance; and age. Drawing on hot button topics and real-life case studies, and delving into the history of offensive terms, a vivid picture of modern discrimination in language emerges. By identifying offensive language, both overt and hidden, past and present, we uncover vast amounts about our own attitudes, beliefs and values and reveal exactly how and why words can offend.
Does a bilingual person have two separate lexicons and two separate grammatical systems? Or should the bilingual linguistic competence be regarded as an integrated system? This book explores this issue, which is central to current debate in the study of bilingualism, and argues for an integrated hypothesis: the linguistic competence of an individual is a single cognitive faculty, and the bilingual mind should not be regarded as fundamentally different from the monolingual one. This conclusion is backed up with a variety of empirical data, in particular code-switching, drawn from a variety of bilingual pairs. The book introduces key notions in minimalism and distributed morphology, making them accessible to readers with different scholarly foci. This book is of interest to those working in linguistics and psycholinguistics, especially bilingualism, code-switching, and the lexicon.
A substantial proportion of our everyday language is 'formulaic', that is, it consists of oft-repeated chunks. From pause fillers such as you know, to phrases such as Many thanks!, Is this seat taken? or strong tea, they form a phenomenon central in language. This important new book investigates formulaic language from the point of view of language change. Employing a novel quantitative and data-led approach, it traces and analyses change in phraseology across 20th Century German as used in Switzerland. Drawing on nearly 20 million words of textual evidence, it shows that social and cultural change in the speech community is the predominant motivator of change, though other factors are also at play. The book demonstrates a close link between language change and the culture of the speech community, arguing that this has repercussions for the study of language in general, as well as the study of society and history.
The phenomenon known as metaphor is an extremely complex mental event - we cannot capture its complexity if we tie ourselves to existing standard views on metaphor. This book offers fresh insight into metaphor, updating an established theory, conceptual metaphor theory (CMT), in the context of current cognitive linguistic theory, and clarifying many of the issues that researchers in the study of metaphor have raised against conceptual metaphor theory. Starting with an introduction to CMT, the subsequent chapters set out propositions for Extended Conceptual Metaphor Theory, including a discussion on whether literal language exists at all, whether conceptual metaphors are both conceptual and contextual, and whether they are both offline and online. Providing a fresh take on a constantly developing field, this study will enrich the work of researchers in areas ranging from metaphorical cognition to literary studies.
Analysing language data systematically and looking closely at how people formulate their thoughts can reveal astonishing insights about the human mind. Without presupposing specific subject knowledge, this book gently introduces its readers to theoretical insights as well as practical principles for systematic linguistic analysis from a cognitive perspective. Drawing on Thora Tenbrink's twenty years' experience in both linguistics and cognitive science, this book offers theoretical guidance and practical advice for doing cognitive discourse analysis. It covers areas of analysis as diverse as attention, perspective, granularity, certainty, inference, transformation, communication, and cognitive strategies, using inspiring examples from many different projects. Simple techniques and tools are used to allow readers new to the subject easy ways to apply the methods, without the need for complex technologies, whilst the cross-disciplinary approach can be applied to a diverse range of research purposes and contexts in which language and thought play a role.
Abstract concepts are often embodied through metaphor. For example, we talk about moving through time in metaphorical terms, as if we were moving through space, allowing us to 'look back' on past events. Much of the work on embodied metaphor to date has assumed a single set of universal, shared bodily experiences that motivate our understanding of abstract concepts. This book explores sources of variation in people's experiences of embodied metaphor, including, for example, the shape and size of one's body, one's age, gender, state of mind, physical or linguistic impairments, personality, ideology, political stance, religious beliefs, and linguistic background. It focuses on the ways in which people's experiences of metaphor fluctuate over time within a single communicative event or across a lifetime. Combining theoretical argument with findings from new studies, Littlemore analyses sources of variation in embodied metaphor and provides a deeper understanding of the nature of embodied metaphor itself.
This book provides a pioneering introduction to heritage languages and their speakers, written by one of the founders of this new field. Using examples from a wide range of languages, it covers all the main components of grammar, including phonetics and phonology, morphology and morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics, and shows easy familiarity with approaches ranging from formal grammar to typology, from sociolinguistics to child language acquisition and other relevant aspects of psycholinguistics. The book offers analysis of resilient and vulnerable domains in heritage languages, with a special emphasis on recurrent structural properties that occur across multiple heritage languages. It is explicit about instances where, based on our current knowledge, we are unable to reach a clear decision on a particular claim or analytical point, and therefore provides a much-needed resource for future research.
Demonstratives play a crucial role in the acquisition and use of language. Bringing together a team of leading scholars this detailed study, a first of its kind, explores meaning and use across fifteen typologically and geographically unrelated languages to find out what cross-linguistic comparisons and generalizations can be made, and how this might challenge current theory in linguistics, psychology, anthropology and philosophy. Using a shared experimental task, rounded out with studies of natural language use, specialists in each of the languages undertook extensive fieldwork for this comparative study of semantics and usage. An introduction summarizes the shared patterns and divergences in meaning and use that emerge.
Recursion and self-embedding are at the heart of our ability to formulate our thoughts, articulate our imagination and share with other human beings. Nonetheless, controversy exists over the extent to which recursion is shared across all domains of syntax. A collection of 18 studies are presented here on the central linguistic property of recursion, examining a range of constructions in over a dozen languages representing great areal, typological and genetic diversity and spanning wide latitudes. The volume expands the topic to include prepositional phrases, possessives, adjectives, and relative clauses - our many vehicles to express creative thought - to provide a critical perspective on claims about how recursion connects to broader aspects of the mind. Parallel explorations across language families, literate and non-literate societies, children and adults are investigated and constitutes a new step in the generative tradition by simultaneously focusing on formal theory, acquisition and experimentation, and ecologically-sensitive fieldwork, and initiates a new community where these diverse experts collaborate.
Metaphor theory has shifted from asking whether metaphor is 'conceptual' or 'linguistic' to debating whether it is 'embodied' or 'discursive'. Although recent work in the social and cognitive sciences has yielded clear opportunities to resolve that dispute, the divide between discourse- and cognition-oriented approaches has remained. To unite the field, this book brings together leading metaphor researchers from a number of disciplines. It collects major arguments and presents a wide variety of empirical evidence, placing special emphasis on the embodiment and socio-cultural embeddedness of cognition, as well as the multi-modal and social-interactive nature of communication. It shows that metaphor theory can only profit from an approach that takes multiple perspectives into consideration and tries to account for findings yielded by multiple methodologies. By doing so, it works towards a dynamic, multi-dimensional, socio-cognitive model of metaphor that goes beyond what research traditions have separately achieved.
The best survey of cognitive linguistics available, this Handbook provides a thorough explanation of its rich methodology, key results, and interdisciplinary context. With in-depth coverage of the research questions, basic concepts, and various theoretical approaches, the Handbook addresses newly emerging subfields and shows their contribution to the discipline. The Handbook introduces fields of study that have become central to cognitive linguistics, such as conceptual mappings and construction grammar. It explains all the main areas of linguistic analysis traditionally expected in a full linguistics framework, and includes fields of study such as language acquisition, sociolinguistics, diachronic studies, and corpus linguistics. Setting linguistic facts within the context of many other disciplines, the Handbook will be welcomed by researchers and students in a broad range of disciplines, including linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, gesture studies, computational linguistics, and multimodal studies.
The question of how to determine the meaning of compounds was prominent in early generative morphology, but lost importance after the late 1970s. In the past decade, it has been revived by the emergence of a number of frameworks that are better suited to studying this question than earlier ones. In this book, three frameworks for studying the semantics of compounding are presented by their initiators: Jackendoff's Parallel Architecture, Lieber's theory of lexical semantics, and Štekauer's onomasiological theory. Common to these presentations is a focus on English noun-noun compounds. In the following chapters, these theories are then applied to different types of compounding (phrasal, A+N, neoclassical) and other languages (French, German, Swedish, Greek). Finally, a comparison highlights how each framework offers particular insight into the meaning of compounds. An exciting new contribution to the field, this book will be of interest to morphologists, semanticists and cognitive linguists.
During the last few decades we have discovered enormous amounts about our genomes, their evolution and, importantly for linguists and language scientists, the genetic foundations of language and speech. Accessible and readable, this introduction is designed specifically for students and researchers working in language and linguistics. It carefully focuses on the most relevant concepts, methods and findings in the genetics of language and speech, and covers a wide range of topics such as heritability, the molecular mechanisms through which genes influence our language, and the evolutionary forces affecting them. Filling a large gap in the literature, this essential guide explores relevant examples including hearing loss, stuttering, dyslexia, brain growth and development, as well as the normal range of variation. It also contains a helpful glossary of terms, and a wide range of references so the reader can pursue topics of interest in more depth.
From the barbed, childish taunt on the school playground, to the eloquent sophistry of a lawyer prising open a legal loophole in a court of law, meaning arises each time we use language to communicate with one another. How we use language - to convey ideas, make requests, ask a favour, and express anger, love or dismay - is of the utmost importance; indeed, linguistic meaning can be a matter of life and death. In The Crucible of Language, Vyvyan Evans explains what we know, and what we do, when we communicate using language; he shows how linguistic meaning arises, where it comes from, and the way language enables us to convey the meanings that can move us to tears, bore us to death, or make us dizzy with delight. Meaning is, he argues, one of the final frontiers in the mapping of the human mind.
'Metonymy' is a type of figurative language used in everyday conversation, a form of shorthand that allows us to use our shared knowledge to communicate with fewer words than we would otherwise need. 'I'll pencil you in' and 'let me give you a hand' are both examples of metonymic language. Metonymy serves a wide range of communicative functions, such as textual cohesion, humour, irony, euphemism and hyperbole - all of which play a key role in the development of language and discourse communities. Using authentic data throughout, this book shows how metonymy operates, not just in language, but also in gesture, sign language, art, music, film and advertising. It explores the role of metonymy in cross-cultural communication, along with the challenges it presents to language learners and translators. Ideal for researchers and students in linguistics and literature, as well as teachers and general readers interested in the art of communication.
Language is central to our lives, the cultural tool that arguably sets us apart from other species. Some scientists have argued that language is innate, a type of unique human 'instinct' pre-programmed in us from birth. In this book, Vyvyan Evans argues that this received wisdom is, in fact, a myth. Debunking the notion of a language 'instinct', Evans demonstrates that language is related to other animal forms of communication; that languages exhibit staggering diversity; that we learn our mother tongue drawing on general properties and abilities of the human mind, rather than an inborn 'universal' grammar; that language is not autonomous but is closely related to other aspects of our mental lives; and that, ultimately, language and the mind reflect and draw upon the way we interact with others in the world. Compellingly written and drawing on cutting-edge research, The Language Myth sets out a forceful alternative to the received wisdom, showing how language and the mind really work.
The idea that spatial cognition provides the foundation of linguistic meanings, even highly abstract meanings, has been put forward by a number of linguists in recent years. This book takes this proposal into new dimensions and develops a theoretical framework based on simple geometric principles. All speakers are conceptualisers who have a point of view both in a literal and in an abstract sense, choosing their perspective in space, time and the real world. The book examines the conceptualising properties of verbs, including tense, aspect, modality and transitivity, as well as the conceptual workings of grammatical constructions associated with counterfactuality, other minds and the expression of moral force. It makes links to the cognitive sciences throughout and concludes with a discussion of the relationship between language, brain and mind.
Sand stories from Central Australia are a traditional form of Aboriginal women's verbal art that incorporates speech, song, sign, gesture and drawing. Small leaves and other objects may be used to represent story characters. This detailed study of Arandic sand stories takes a multimodal approach to the analysis of the stories and shows how the expressive elements used in the stories are orchestrated together. This richly illustrated volume is essential reading for anyone interested in language and communication. It adds to the growing recognition that language encompasses much more than speech alone, and shows how important it is to consider the different semiotic resources a culture brings to its communicative tasks as an integrated whole rather than in isolation.
This volume examines the role that culture plays in the acquisition of cognitive, linguistic, and social skills. Taking reflective thinking as a central analytical concept, the contributors investigate the role of personal reflection in a series of mental activities, including the creation of social relationships, the creation of a mental narrative to make sense of events, and metacognition. These three types of cognition are usually conceived of as separate research fields. Reflective Thinking in Educational Settings draws these discrete subfields into dialogue, exploring the connections and interplay among them. This approach yields insight into a range of topics, including language acquisition, cognitive processes, theory of mind, cross-cultural interaction, and social development. The volume also outlines the implications of these findings in terms of further research and possible social policy initiatives.