Conceptual Integration

Mark Turner

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Conceptual Integration

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Conceptual integration, also called “blending,” is a basic mental operation that works over mental spaces and conforms to a set of constitutive principles: a partial cross-space mapping connects some counterparts in the input mental spaces. For example, the girlfriend and the bride are connected in the wedding example. There is a generic mental space, which maps onto each of the inputs and contains what the inputs have in common. In the wedding example, the generic space has a man and a woman engaged in sustained pair bonding. There is a fourth mental space, the blended space, often called “the blend.” It is in this space that the man is in the process of marrying his girlfriend. There is selective projection from the inputs to the blend. It is important to emphasize that not all elements and relations from the inputs are projected to the blend. Composition, completion, and elaboration lead to emergent structure in the blend; the blend contains structure that is not copied from the inputs.

Keywords: conceptual integration; blending; mental spaces; inputs; blended space; generic space; composition; completion; elaboration; emergent structure

Article.  7004 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Cognitive Linguistics

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