What Is Cognitive Linguistics

Topics: Linguistics, Cognitive science, Semantics Pages: 7 (1576 words) Published: April 28, 2013
1. Cognitive Linguistics: some basic facts
2. Branches of Cognitive Linguistics

1. Cognitive Linguistics: some basic facts
What is cognitive linguistics?
Cognitive linguistics is a branch of linguistics that focuses on the conceptual structures and cognitive processes that underlie linguistic representation and grammar in language. [3] Cognitive linguistics is the study of language in its cognitive function, where “cognitive” refers to the crucial role of intermediate informational structures with our encounters with the world. Cognitive linguistics assumes that our interaction with the world is mediated through informational structures in the mind. It is more specific than cognitive psychology, however, by focusing on natural language as a means for organizing, processing, and conveying that information. [2] How does cognitive linguistics differ from general linguistics? Cognitive linguistics argues that language is governed by general cognitive principles, rather than by a special-purpose language module. The three major hypotheses that guide the cognitive linguistics approach to language are: 1. Language is not an autonomous cognitive faculty

2. Grammar is conceptualization
3. Knowledge of language emerges from language use [3]
What is the subject of cognitive linguistics?
Cognitive linguistics studies the peculiarities of receiving and processing information by means of language signs and the correlation between the cognitive mechanisms and speech. Its subject is language as the instrument of representation of the cognitive structures and perception forms.[3] What are the cognitive linguistics’ principal targets?

As any study, cognitive linguistics aims at the solution of certain theoretical and practical problems: 1. The analysis of human language competence, its origin and development in the process of life. 2. The definition and classification of common language experience of the speakers. 3. The description of specific features of human inner lexicon and verbal memory organization in accordance with sign representation structures. 4. The explanation of human cognitive activities in the process of speech production, perception and understanding. 5. The research of cognitive processes and the role of natural languages in their realization. 6. The determination of correlation between language and cognition structures.[3] What are the sources of cognitive linguistics study?

Cognitive linguistics is based on various branches of linguistics and extralinguistic disciplines such as: 1. Cognitology and cognitive psychology
2. Computer science and computer linguistics
3. Generative grammar and semantics
4. Psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics
5. Culturology and history.
Cognitive linguistics goes beyond the visible structure of language and investigates the considerably more complex backstage operations of cognition that create grammar, conceptualization, discourse, and thought itself. The theoretical insights of cognitive linguistics are based on extensive empirical observation in multiple contexts, and on experimental work in psychology and neuroscience. Results of cognitive linguistics, especially from metaphor theory and conceptual integration theory, have been applied to wide ranges of nonlinguistic phenomena.[3]


Experimental view
• This view pursues a more practical and empirical description of meaning • It is the user of the language who tells us what is going on in their minds when they produce and understand words and sentences. • The first research within this approach - the study of cognitive categories led to the prototype model of categorisation (Eleanor Rosch et al.,1977, 1978) • The knowledge and experience human beings have of the things and events that they know well is transferred to those other objects and events, which they are not so familiar with, and even to abstract concepts. • Lakoff...

Bibliography: 1. Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction, by Vyvyan Evans and Melanie Green (Routledge, 2006)
3. Gilles Fauconnier. 2006. "Cognitive Linguistics." Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. John Wiley & Sons.
4. G. Radden and R. Dirven, Cognitive English Grammar. John Benjamins, 2007
6. Ungerer and Schmid, 1997
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