Construal and Perspectivization

Arie Verhagen

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738632
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Construal and Perspectivization

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A fundamental principle in cognitive linguistics is that semantics is, indeed, primarily cognitive and not a matter of relationships between language and the world (or truth conditions with respect to a model). This principle becomes especially manifest in the research into facets of meaning and grammatical organization which crucially makes use of notions such as “perspective,” “subjectivity,” or “point of view.” What these notions have in common is that they capture aspects of conceptualization that cannot be sufficiently analyzed in terms of properties of the object of conceptualization, but, in one way or another, necessarily involve a subject of conceptualization. The cover term that has come to be used for different ways of viewing a particular situation is “construal.” There are several dimensions along which construals may vary. Cognitive linguists, most notably Ron Langacker and Len Talmy, have proposed a number of classification schemes for construal phenomena, in attempts to organize them into a relatively small number of basic types. This article discusses construals, perspectivization, and subjectification.

Keywords: Ron Langacker; Len Talmy; construals; perspectivization; subjectification; cognitive linguistics; semantics; conceptualization; classification

Article.  14451 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Semantics

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