Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Cognitive linguistics Essay
The cognitive linguals enterprise is characterized by devil fundamental inscriptions (Lakoff 1990). These underlie both the orientation and approach choose by practicing cognitive linguists, and the guesss and methodologies employed in the devil main branches of the cognitive linguals enterprise cognitive semantics, and cognitive approaches to grammar, discussed in further gunpoint in later sections.The first key commitment is the Generalization allegiance (Lakoff 1990). It represents a dedication to characterizing ecumenical principles that apply to all aspects of gracious expression. This death is just a special subcase of the standard commitment in science to seek the broadest generalizations affirmable. In contrast to the cognitive linguals approach, some other approaches to the ponder of spoken communication often separate the row faculty into distinct beas such(prenominal) as phonology (sound), semantics ( word and sentence meaning), pragmatics (meaning in discourse context), morphology (word grammatical device), sentence organise (sentence structure), and so on.As a solution, on that point is often little earth for generalization cross representations these aspects of blethering to, or for subscribe to of their inter analogys. This is special(a)ly true of clump linguistics.Formal linguistics attempts to model language by positing explicit robotlike devices or procedures operating on theoretical primitives in order to do all the possible grammatic sentences of a given language. Such approaches typically attempt precise radiation diagramulations by adopting chunkisms inspired by computer science, math and logic. Formal linguistics is corporeal most nonably by the pull in of Noam Chomsky and the paradigm of Generative Grammar, as well as the tradition know as Formal Semantics, inspired by philosopher of language Richard Montague.Within formal linguistics it is usually argued that atomic number 18as such as phonol ogy, semantics and syntax concern signifi lavtly different kinds of structuring principles operating over different kinds of primitives. For instance, a syntax staff is an area in the mind bear on with structuring actors line into sentences, whereas a phonology module is concerned with structuring sounds into patterns permitted by the rules of any given language, and by benignant language in general. This modular view of mind reinforces the idea that innovational linguistics is justified in separating the account of language into distinct sub-disciplines, not only on grounds of practicality, but beca using up the comp matchlessnts of language are all distinct, and, in terms of fundamental law, incommensurable.Cognitive linguists accognition that it may often be useful to treat areas such as syntax, semantics and phonology as universe notionally distinct.However, given the Generalization cargo, cognitive linguists do not start with the assumption that the modules or sub ag reements 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 linguistic companionship emerge from a common site of human cognitive abilities upon which they draw, instead than assuming that they are produced in encapsulated modules of the mind.The Generalization Commitment has concrete consequences for studies of language. First, cognitive linguistic studies focus on what is common among aspects of language, seeking to re-use successful methods and explanations across these aspects. For instance, just as word meaning displays prototype effects there are better and worse examples of referents of given words, think in calveicular ways so various studies book applied the same principles to the organization of morphology (e.g., Taylor, 2003), syntax (e.g., Goldberg, 1995), and phonology (e.g., Jaeger & Ohala, 19 84).Generalizing successful explanations across domains of language isnt just a good scientific practice it is also the way biology works reusing existing structures for new purposes, both on evolutionary and developmental timescales. Second, cognitive linguistic approaches often take a perpendicular, preferably than a horizontal strategy to the study of language. Language can be seen as composed of a set of distinct stages of ecesis the sound structure, the set of words composed by these sounds, the syntactic structures these words are constitutive of, and so on.If we array these layers one on make it of the next as they unroll over time (like layers of a cake), because modular approaches are horizontal, in the sense that they take one layer and study it internally just as a horizontal track of cake. Vertical approaches get a richer view of language by victorious a vertical slice of language, which includes phonology, morphology, syntax, and of course a healthy dollop of semantics on top. A vertical slice of language is necessarily much than coordination compound in some ways than a horizontal one it is to a greater extent(prenominal) varied and textured but at the same time it affords possible explanations that are simply unavailable from a horizontal, modular perspective.The second commitment is termed the Cognitive Commitment (Lakoff 1990). It represents a commitment to providing a characterization of the general principles for language that accord with what is cognize ab break through the mind and brain from other disciplines. It is this commitment that makes cognitive linguistics cognitive, and thus an approach which is fundamentally interdisciplinary in nature.Just as the Generalization Commitment leads to the search for principles of language structure that hold across all aspects of language, in a related manner, the Cognitive Commitment represents the view that principles of linguistic structure should reflect what is cognise about human cognition from the other cognitive and brain sciences, in particular psychology, artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy. In other words, the Cognitive Commitment asserts that models of language and linguistic organization proposed should reflect what is known about the human mind, rather than purely aesthetic dictates such as the use of particular kinds of formalisms or economy of representation (see Croft 1998 for discussion of this last point).The Cognitive Commitment has a outlet of concrete ramifications. First, linguistic theories cannot include structures or processes that violate known properties of the human cognitive system. For instance, if sequential derivation of syntactic structures violates time constraints forgetd by actual human language processing, then it must be jettisoned. Second, models that use known, existing properties of human cognition to explain language phenomena are more parsimonious than those that are built from a pri ori simplicity metrics.For example, quite a lot is known about human categorization, and a theory that reduces word meaning to the same mechanisms responsible for categorization in other cognitive domains is simpler than one that hypothesizes a separate system for capturing lexical semantics. Finally, it is incumbent upon the cognitive linguistic look intoer to find convergent evidence for the cognitive candor of components of any proffered model or explanation.Having briefly set out the two key commitments of the cognitive linguistics enterprise, we now briefly map out the two, hitherto, best developed areas of the field. Cognitive linguistics practice can be roughly divided into two main areas o research cognitive semantics and cognitive (approaches to) grammar.The area of study known as cognitive semantics is concerned with investigating the semblanceship between experience, the conceptual system, and the semantic structure encoded by language. In specific terms, scholars work ing in cognitive semantics investigate knowledge representation (conceptual structure), and meaning construction (conceptualization). Cognitive semanticists keep employed language as the lens through which these cognitive phenomena can be investigated. Consequently, research in cognitive semantics tends to be interested in modelling the human mind as much as it is concerned with investigating linguistic semantics. A cognitive approach to grammar is concerned with modelling the language system (the mental grammar), than the nature of mind per se.However, it does so by taking as its starting points the conclusions of work in cognitive semantics. This follows as meaning is primeval to cognitive approaches to grammar.4 It is critical to note that although the study of cognitive semantics and cognitive approaches to grammar are occasionally separate in practice, this by no means implies that their domains of dubiousness are anything but tightly linked most work in cognitive linguistic s finds it necessary to investigate both lexical semantics and grammatical organization jointly.As with research in cognitive semantics, cognitive approaches to grammar imbibe also typically adopted one of two foci. Scholars such as Ronald Langacker have emphasized the study of the cognitive principles that give rise to linguistic organization. In his theory of Cognitive Grammar, Langacker has attempted to delineate the principles that structure a grammar, and to relate these to aspects of general cognition.The second avenue of investigation, pursued by researchers including Fillmore and Kay, Lakoff),Goldberg and more recently Bergen and Chang (2005) and Croft (2002), aims to provide a more descriptively and formally fine account of the linguistic units that comprise a particular language. These researchers attempt to provide a broad-ranging inventory of the units of language, from morphemes to words, idioms, and phrasal patterns, and seek accounts of their structure, composition al possibilities, and relations.Researchers who have pursued this line of investigation are developing a set of theories that are collectively known as construction grammars. This general approach takes its digit from the view in cognitive linguistics that the basic unit of language is a form-meaning pairing known as a symbolic assembly, or a construction.Cognitive semantics, like the openhandedr enterprise of which it is a part, is not a unified framework. Those researchers who identify themselves as cognitive semanticists typically have a diverse set of foci and interests. However, there are a number of guiding principles that collectively characterize a cognitive approach to semantics. In this section we identify these guiding principles (as we see them). In section 5 we explore some of the major theories and research areas which have emerged under the criterion of cognitive semantics. The four guiding principles of cognitive semantics are as follows i) conceptual structure is embodied (the embodied cognition thesis) ii) Semantic structure is conceptual structureiii) Meaning representation is encyclopaediciv) Meaning construction is conceptualizationConceptual structure is embodiedDue to the nature of our bodies, including our neuro-anatomical architecture, we have a species-specific view of the world. In other words, our construal of reality is mediated, in large measure, by the nature of our contour. One example of the way in which build affects the nature of experience is in the realm of colourize. While the human optical system has three kinds of photoreceptors (i.e., deform channels), other organisms often have a different number.For instance, the visual system of squirrels, rabbits and possibly cats, makes use of two colouration channels, while other organisms, including goldfish and pigeons, have four color channels. Having a different range of color channels affects our experience of color in terms of the range of colors accessible to us alo ng the color spectrum. Some organisms can see in the infrared range, such as rattlesnakes, which hunt prey at night and can visually watch the heat given off by other organisms.Humans are unable to see in this range. The nature of our visual apparatus one aspect of our embodiment determines the nature and range of our visual experience. The nature of the relation between embodied cognition and linguistic meaning is contentious. It is evident that embodiment underspecifies which color terms a particular language will have, and whether the speaker units of a given language will be interested in color in the first place (Saunders, 1995 Wierzbicka, 1996). However, the interest in understanding this relation is an important aspect of the view in cognitive linguistics that the study of linguistic meaning construction needs to be reintegrated with the contemporary study of human nature.The fact that our experience is embodied that is, structured in part by the nature of the bodies we have and by our neurological organization has consequences for cognition. In other words, the concepts we have access to and the nature of the reality we think and verbalise about are a function of our embodiment. We can only talk about what we can perceive and conceive, and the things that we can perceive and conceive follow from embodied experience. From this point of view, the human mind must bear the low of embodied experience. This thesis, central to cognitive semantics, is known as the thesis of embodied cognition. This position holds that conceptual structure (the nature of human concepts) is a consequence of the nature of our embodiment and thus is embodied. Semantic structure is conceptual structureThe second guiding principle asserts that language refers to concepts in the mind of the speaker rather than, like a shot, to entities which inhere in an objectively real external world. In other words, semantic structure (the meanings conventionally associated with words an d other linguistic units) can be equated with conceptual structure (i.e., concepts). This representational view is directly at odds with the denotational perspective of what cognitive semanticists sometimes refer to as objectivist semantics, as exemplified by some formal approaches to semantics.However, the claim that semantic structure can be equated with conceptual structure does not mean that the two are identical. Instead, cognitive semanticists claim that the meanings associated with linguistic units such as words, for example, form only a subset of possible concepts. After all, we have many more thoughts, ideas and feelings than we can conventionally encode in language. For example, as Langacker (1987) observes, we have a concept for the place on our faces below our nose and above our brim where moustaches go.We must have a concept for this part of the face in order to understand that the hair that grows there is called a moustache. However, there is no English word that conv entionally encodes this concept (at least not in the non-specialist vocabulary of everyday language). It follows that the set of lexical concepts, the semantic units conventionally associated with linguistic units such as words is only a subset of the full set of concepts in the minds of speaker-hearers.