Frames, Idealized Cognitive Models, and Domains

Alan Cienki

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Frames, Idealized Cognitive Models, and Domains


Constructs such as frames, idealized cognitive models (ICMs), and domains have been central to various methods of analysis in cognitive linguistics. Each of them provides a way of characterizing the structured encyclopedic knowledge which is inextricably connected with linguistic knowledge—that assertion being an important tenet in much of the cognitive linguistic research. Frames, ICMs, and domains all derive from an approach to language as a system of communication that reflects the world as it is construed by humans, rather than as it might be represented from some god's-eye point of view. This article presents an overview of these three topics, including their origins and development, their interrelation, and their role as foundational ideas in cognitive linguistics. The focus is on the specific role(s) played by frames in cognitive linguistics, where Charles J. Fillmore's works has been particularly influential. In his papers “Frame semantics” (1982a) and “A private history of the concept ‘Frame’” (1987), Fillmore reveals the influences which led to his formulation and development of the notion.

Keywords: Charles J. Fillmore; frames; idealized cognitive models; domains; cognitive linguistics; semantics; linguistic knowledge; language

Article.  8169 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Cognitive Linguistics

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