cognitive linguistics

Topics: Linguistics, Cognitive science, Semantics Pages: 12 (3437 words) Published: October 18, 2013

The topic of seminar:
The main trends of Cognitive Linguistics in works of foreign (American and European) scientists

Problem task: What principles of cognitive linguistics did G. Lakoff pay much attention at ? 

Describe his idea. Describe the study of spatial relationships and types of movement in the conceptualization of language,

the concept of imaginative schemes and types of schemes.
Describe the study of body based consciousness and language of humans.

The idea of ​​the concept of embodiment.
Make a classification of areas and approaches, allocated in cognitive linguistics by foreign authors.

 Present it as a flowchart (структурная схема).

Lecture 6.The main trends of Cognitive Linguistics in works of foreign scientists. Aims:
To view the main approaches to Cognitive Linguistics in works of foreign authors To trace the similarities and differences of foreign and native approaches.

The cognitive linguistics enterprise is characterized by two fundamental commitments (Lakoff 1990). These underlie both the orientation and approach adopted by practicing cognitive linguists, and the assumptions and methodologies employed in the two main branches of the cognitive linguistics enterprise: cognitive semantics, and cognitive approaches to grammar, discussed in further detail in later sections.

The first key commitment is the Generalization Commitment (Lakoff 1990). It represents a dedication to characterizing general principles that apply to all aspects of human language. This goal is just a special subcase of the standard commitment in science to seek the broadest generalizations possible. In contrast to the cognitive linguistics approach, other approaches to the study of language often separate the language faculty into distinct areas such as phonology (sound), semantics (word and sentence meaning), pragmatics (meaning in discourse context), morphology (word structure), syntax (sentence structure), and so on. As a consequence, there is often little basis for generalization across these aspects of language, or for study of their interrelations. This is particularly true of formal linguistics.

Formal linguistics attempts to model language by positing explicit mechanical devices or procedures operating on theoretical primitives in order to produce all the possible grammatical sentences of a given language. Such approaches typically attempt precise formulations by adopting formalisms inspired by computer science, mathematics and logic. Formal linguistics is embodied most notably by the work of Noam Chomsky and the paradigm of Generative Grammar, as well as the tradition known as Formal Semantics, inspired by philosopher of language Richard Montague.

Within formal linguistics it is usually argued that areas such as phonology, semantics and syntax concern significantly different kinds of structuring principles operating over different kinds of primitives. For instance, a syntax ‘module’ is an area in the mind concerned with structuring words into sentences, whereas a phonology ‘module’ is concerned with structuring sounds into patterns permitted by the rules of any given language, and by human language in general. This modular view of mind reinforces the idea that modern linguistics is justified in separating the study of language into distinct sub-disciplines, not only on grounds of practicality, but because the components of language are wholly distinct, and, in terms of organization, incommensurable.

Cognitive linguists acknowledge that it may often be useful to treat areas such as syntax, semantics and phonology as being notionally distinct. However, given the Generalization Commitment, cognitive linguists do not start with the assumption that the ‘modules’ or ‘subsystems’ of language are organized in significantly divergent ways, or indeed that wholly distinct modules even exist. Thus, the Generalization Commitment represents a commitment to openly investigating how the various aspects of...
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