Conceptual Spaces and Embodied Actions

David F. Armstrong and Sherman E. Wilcox

in The Gestural Origin of Language

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780195163483
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199867523 | DOI:
 Conceptual Spaces and Embodied Actions

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines evidence for the ubiquity of iconicity in signed languages, a consequence of their transmission in the visual medium. Adopting a cognitive grammar framework, the iconic representation of space and time in signed languages is described. Iconicity is understood not as a relation between language and the external world, but as a mapping within multidimensional conceptual space, between the semantic and phonological poles of a symbol. This mapping can vary in distance from one of identity or self-symbolization, in which the thing represents itself, to one of iconicity, in which the semantic and phonological poles reside in roughly the same conceptual space.

Keywords: cognitive linguistics; semantics; syntax; cognitivist framework; iconicity; sign language

Chapter.  9820 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.