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6 - Symbolic Relations

from Part II - Signs as Networks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2019

Holger Diessel
Affiliation:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany
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Summary

Chapter 6 is concerned with symbolic associations between form and meaning. Cognitive linguists have analyzed the conceptual foundations of linguistic symbols in great detail, but they usually look at the semantic pole of lexemes and constructions from a synchronic perspective. In the dynamic network approach, the focus of analysis is on the development of symbolic associations. Combining frame semantics with research on symbol learning in L1 acquisition, Chapter 6 argues that symbolic associations evolve from recurrent paths of interpretation that become entrenched in memory as a consequence of automatization. The proposed analysis challenges the traditional distinction between encoding and inference and provides the basis for a dynamic theory of meaning in which linguistic elements are seen as cues or stimuli that activate a specific concept, i.e., the figure node, of an open-ended network of world knowledge. Since the activation status of the network varies with speakers’ (and listeners’) mental states in a particular situation, linguistic cues can give rise to different interpretations in different contexts.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Grammar Network
How Linguistic Structure Is Shaped by Language Use
, pp. 90 - 112
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • Symbolic Relations
  • Holger Diessel, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany
  • Book: The Grammar Network
  • Online publication: 12 August 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108671040.006
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  • Symbolic Relations
  • Holger Diessel, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany
  • Book: The Grammar Network
  • Online publication: 12 August 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108671040.006
Available formats
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Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Symbolic Relations
  • Holger Diessel, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany
  • Book: The Grammar Network
  • Online publication: 12 August 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108671040.006
Available formats
×