Article

Introducing Cognitive Linguistics

Dirk Geeraerts and Hubert Cuyckens

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738632
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199738632.013.0001

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Introducing Cognitive Linguistics

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Cognitive linguistics as represented in this book is an approach to the analysis of natural language that originated in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the work of George Lakoff, Ron Langacker, and Len Talmy, and that focuses on language as an instrument for organizing, processing, and conveying information. This introductory article sketches the theoretical position of cognitive linguistics together with a number of practical features of the way in which research in cognitive linguistics is organized. Three fundamental characteristics of cognitive linguistics can be derived: the primacy of semantics in linguistic analysis, the encyclopedic nature of linguistic meaning, and the perspectival nature of linguistic meaning. This article also discusses how cognitive linguistics and generative grammar can both proclaim themselves to be cognitive enterprises. The book deals with different conceptual phenomena that are recognized by cognitive linguistics as key concepts: prototypicality, metaphor, metonymy, embodiment, perspectivization, mental spaces, and the like. Each constitutes a specific principle of conceptual organization as reflected in the language.

Keywords: Ron Langacker; cognitive linguistics; natural language; semantics; linguistic meaning; generative grammar; metaphor; metonymy; mental spaces; perspectivization

Article.  8429 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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